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    22 / Feb / 2022

    Supply Shortages in the Fitness Industry: Why Is My Delivery Taking so Long?

    While the demand for home-gym equipment has drastically increased, the necessary materials have become less and less available, leading to a supply chain shortage within the fitness industry. 

    Supply Shortages in the Fitness Industry: Why Is My Delivery Taking so Long?

    Since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck the western part of the world in early 2020, multiple industries have had to adapt to such unique circumstances. 

    Restaurants have struggled to keep their doors open, sports and recreation clubs have been consistently put on hold at irregular patterns, and public gyms have been mandated to lower capacity or face temporary shutdowns. 

    Let’s also not forget that people are spending more time at home and are even working remotely. 

    The result has been a downward trend of services and an increased demand for materials and goods. The fitness industry has not gone unaffected by this. 

    More people than ever are bringing their workouts into their own home environment. Peloton, for example, known for their high-tech home-gym equipment, reported a 232 percent increase in revenue in 2020 compared to 2019. 

    While the demand for home-gym equipment has drastically increased, the necessary materials have become less and less available, leading to a supply chain shortage within the fitness industry. 

    In this article, we explore a few of the different reasons why you could be waiting so long for your equipment to arrive or why that specific treadmill you are looking for is sold out. 

     

    In This Article:

    1. Increased Demand in Home Gym Equipment
    2. Price Increase of Raw Materials 
    3. Delay at Ports and Borders
    4. Labor Shortages
    5. Increased Shipping Container Costs
    6. Reach Out to Akfit


    Increased Demand in Home Gym Equipment

    An industry already trending upwards, the home-fitness industry skyrocketed once COVID-19 lockdowns were brought into effect. In Ontario alone, 7 lockdowns/stay-at-home orders have taken place.

    Some of the most popular equipment that have been flying off the shelves in the past couple years include kettlebells, dumbbells, workout benches, and resistance bands, mostly because of their portability, cost, and versatility. 

    Taking a look at the numbers, since the start of lockdowns in North America (mid-March 2020), Yelp conducted a studywhich recorded that within one month of world shut down, the increased demand for home-fitness equipment was up 500%. 

    America’s College of Sport and Medicine also released a worldwide survey for fitness trends in 2021 and found that “online training” was the number one growing trend, with outdoor training and virtual training not far behind.

    This would also fall in line with many fitness companies which sell fitness equipment with online or virtual training programs. 

    iFit Health and Fitness, the maker of NordicTrack equipment and widely known for their iFit fitness app, reported that revenue climbed to $1.75 billion in fiscal 2021, compared to $871.5 million in the year before.

    In Contrast, iFit’s biggest competitor, Peloton, has also reported a large increase in demand for their products. So much so that they have struggled to keep up with requests and reported $230 million in backlogged orders during June of 2020. As a result of the increased demand for home equipment, customers have had to wait up to 6-10 weeks for delivery for their Peloton products. 

    At Akfit, we also offer delivery services for our products. You can request a delivery here. Cost and estimated time of delivery will vary depending on product availability, portability, and other shipping requirements. 

    Price Increase in Raw Materials

    Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in cost for raw materials that directly impact the manufacturing of fitness equipment. 

     

    What are Raw Materials?

    Raw materials are substances that are used in the primary manufacturing or production of goods. Examples can include steel, oil, gasoline, lumber, and others. 

    The majority of plastics, for example, are made of natural gas, oil, or plants. 

     

    Raw Materials Used in Fitness Equipment

    Fitness equipment of all sorts are made of different materials depending on the product you buy. 

    The majority of materials being plastic or metallic. 

    These materials can include but are not limited to: 

    Plastic

    Acrylic, Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, Nylon, High-density polyethylene, Polystyrene, Polypropylene, Polyoxymethylene, Polycarbonate, and Polytherimide. 

    Metallic

    Alumumium, Cast Iron, Carbon Steel, and Stainless Steel.

     

    The Price Increase in Raw Materials

    According to Statistics Canada, the raw materials price index (RMPI) was on a ninth consecutive monthly increase as of June 2021. The largest contributor to the upward trend was conventional crude oil and synthetic crude oil. 

    This increase can be attributed to the higher global demand stemming from the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. 

    An article posted on Linkedin also reported that the price of oil has increased by 58 percent worldwide between November 2020 and May 2021. The article also notes that the price of iron ore, from which steel is extracted, has also risen sharply. 

    Due to increased demand, a relatively scarce supply of raw materials and production halts around the world have all contributed to an increased price.

    Delays at Ports and Borders

    As of January 15, 2022, all countries in North America implemented a policy in which drivers of freight will have to be completely vaccinated against COVID-19. It is expected that this will add to an already shortage of truck drivers.

    In addition, there have been increased reports of backlogs and congestion at major ports in Canada. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority recorded a throughput uprising of 7 percent for the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020, while the container count went up 24%. 

    The situation got worse in Vancouver when the holidays hit as a surge of imports left warehouses filled to their ceilings and packages were stacking up at marine terminals. 

    Chassis (a common frame used to move materials at ports) are also in short supply due to shipping lines restricting their intake of empty boxes following surges in outbound empties. This has resulted in an outbound pile up at ports and imports with nowhere to go. 

    To add to this non-favorable situation, on-time arrivals for vessels have fallen to 16%. 

    Maritime ports across the globe work with 80% of all internationally traded goods. These ports can and have been affected by some of the examples mentioned above, but also by COVID-19 lockdowns, staffing shortages, and availability due to the surge of the recent Omicron variant. 

     

    Labor Shortages

    Throughout Canada, labor shortages have been affecting businesses of all kinds. This has resulted in businesses having to close doors, temporarily cease operations, and adjust business hours. 

    This is attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic which has left many workers sick and in isolation. Additionally, many workers have decided to not go back to their previous workplace in search of other opportunities, including remote positions. 

    Further, due to school and daycare closures, many parents have had to stay home with their kids instead of going back to work.

    The effect has been felt in restaurants, airlines, factories, warehouses, healthcare, and more. 

    Some provinces have attempted to allow workers to report back to their job quicker by lowering the isolation periods for positive (and fully vaccinated) infected individuals. However, with the surge of the omicron variant, many people have still been stuck in their homes.

    It doesn’t get any better when it comes to the trucking industry. With an already limited number of truckers, those who aren’t fully vaccinated are unable to travel across North American borders.

    The American Trucker Association said they were facing a shortage of 80,000 tuckers, which is a 30% increase since the beginning of the pandemic. 

    Truck drivers in the United States log about 71%of the US economy’s goods. This comes while many US ports also face a backlog. 

    Locally, the trucker shortage applies here in Canada too. Trucking HR Canada released a report stating that 18,000 truckers are needed to fill truck driving jobs in Canada. While the Quebec Trucking Association said they are in need of 2,000 to 3,000 drivers. 

     

    Increased Shipping Container Costs

    Amidst all the problems mentioned above, the rush to move goods has resulted in shipping container costs going up. As of July 1, 2021, the average price of a 40-foot container has quadrupled

    A report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, published in November 2021, indicated that the increase in shipping container costs would result in the increase of consumer goods. This includes rubber and plastic products with a projected increase of 9.4%. 

    Electronics, which include treadmills and other cardio equipment, will see the greatest price increase globally of at least 10%. 

    The increase of freight rates around the world has also led to an increase in shipping container costs but as a result, has left us with a shipping container shortage. 

    While there is fitness equipment manufactured in Canada and the United States, any manufacturing overseas can see delays due to these increased shipping container costs. 

     

    Reach Out to Akfit

    After reading this article, it is clear that the reasoning behind a fitness equipment supply chain shortage is a complex one.  

    Shipping rates are responsible, labor shortages can be partially to blame, costs of services and products have shot up, the price of raw materials have gone up, and let’s not forget about how the world’s nemesis, COVID-19, is playing a part in all of this.

    As a consumer, these elements can feel like they’re out of your control, and we understand that. We want to work closely with you to help you find equipment that will help you reach your goals and hopefully, in a timely manner.

    Our fitness professionals are full of knowledge and understanding of the supply shortages affecting the fitness industry. Since 1989, Akfit Fitness has been operating as a  Canadian specialty fitness store located in Sudbury, Ontario, and serving our clientele in Northern Ontario, the rest of Canada, and beyond. 

    We can help identify your needs and help direct you to the products that are in-stock or direct you towards fantastic alternatives for the time-being. 

    You can also book a virtual meeting with us to discuss our products and delivery services. If you’re already interested in a particular product, you can request a delivery here.


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