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Costco cites ‘truck and driver shortages’ in decision to limit toilet paper sales


Retail giant Costco will start limiting the amount of toilet paper and other supplies that customers can purchase due to the lingering effects of the pandemic as well as supply chain issues.

Costco is placing purchasing limits on items including toilet paper, bottled water, and some cleaning products, according to a recent report from CNBC.

On Thursday, Costco CFO Richard Galanti told investors during an earnings call that a variety of supply chain issues, including problems with finding trucks and drivers, prompted the company to place limits on the amount of supplies people can purchase.

“The factors pressuring supply chains and inflation include port delays, container shortages, Covid disruptions, shortages on various components, raw materials and ingredients, labor cost pressures and truck and driver shortages. Various major brands are requesting longer lead times, and in some cases, difficulty in finding drivers and trucks on short notice,” Galanti said.

“A year ago there was a shortage of merchandise,” Galanti continued. “Now they’ve got plenty of merchandise but there’s two- or three-week delays on getting it delivered because there’s a limit on short-term changes to trucking and delivery needs of the suppliers, so it really is all over the board.”

While groups like the American Trucking Associations (ATA) have been sounding warning bells about a severe truck driver shortage for many years, others like the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) maintain that the driver shortage is a “myth” and that driver turnover is the real source of the industry’s staffing issue.

Costco initially placed purchase limits on items like toilet paper in the early days of the COVID-19 crisis when customers were stockpiling goods.

Social media users are already reporting that Costco stores are running out of some supplies.


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