SAN FRANCISCO – The school year just started, Halloween is coming and Thanksgiving plans are still up in the air. We get it. Your hands are full. Still, consider ordering your year-end gifts now if they’re an important part of your holidays.

Gifts you buy online on Black Friday might not have enough time to arrive by Christmas a month later, let alone Hanukkah, which this year sees the first candle lit on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Any product you order online could take longer than usual for delivery. Global shortages of microprocessors, magnets and plastic have slowed production to a crawl. When products are available, shipping has choked due to a combination of heightened demand, COVID-related port shutdowns and storm-created chaos. Seventy-three cargo ships await unloading at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Saturday, a record. Tennis balls, couches and even pickles have been affected.

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