Shipping issues leading to higher fireworks costs across U.S.


OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) The 4th of July is less than a week away, and shoppers keep stocking up on fireworks for their shows at home. But the cost of buying them is getting more expensive.

Before fireworks make these sounds this upcoming weekend, cash registers at fireworks stores are making all the sounds.

“Mainly smaller stuff. Some smokes, want something that smoke. Smaller version of stuff we already got,” said Donavin Gossett of Owensboro.

“Last year, we sold out of fireworks. This year, we are on the same track as last year,” adds Jenifer Wiggins, who manages a fireworks tent just off of Highway 54.

Some shoppers say they’re noticing those fireworks are costing more than last year.

“It’s definitely went up a little more than I remember,” said Joann Boyd of Owensboro.

“I think it cost a little bit more this year than it did last year,” adds Gossett.

“I’m thinking it’s due to simple economics, supply and demand. We sold out pretty much all the warehouses in America last year during the pandemic, every company was selling out of their warehouses,” said Wiggins.

Some workers and managers at Owensboro area fireworks stores tell us that the reasons some fireworks are more expensive range from supply and demand issues to shipping issues. National Fireworks Association President Steve Houser says shipping costs are a bigger culprit than supplies, which he said is smaller than past years.

“Last year, we were paying about $9,800 per container from Shanghai to my door. Right now, the containers that are coming in are $27,000 per container,” he said.

He adds more shoppers are buying earlier than in past years and some types may not be as available by July 3rd or 4th. Houser does expect shipping costs to stabilize in the future.

“We do believe, or certainly hope, long term, that this is something that’s going to ebb down, and we’ll get back to normalization with freight rates for everything as high.”

(This story was originally published on June 28, 2021)

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