Tampa Bay fireworks suppliers warn of shortage during 4th of July

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It will not be long before families will light up sparklers during cookouts in their backyards before heading out to watch those booming fireworks shows.

However, if you have been planning on setting off your own display this year, fireworks suppliers in Tampa Bay have been warning customers to stock up early.

Some of those suppliers said the fireworks industry has been experiencing shipping challenges and rising prices as factories shut down overseas because of the pandemic.

“They used to ship out of 3 ports,” said Don Surenkamp with Patriotic Fireworks in Holiday. “They doubled the shipping… more than doubled the cost of shipping to us. They raised the price of product probably more than 33 plus percent.”

He also said the surge in fireworks sales from last 4th of July and New Year’s Eve is creating the shortage.

“Usually we hold inventory back,” he said. “That way you can hit your max sales. I’d say, on average, we probably have 20% of our inventory left over for the following season and nobody in this country had inventory left over. That’s also what’s creating a shortage too… part of it.”

Surenkamp also said small businesses will be the ones that will suffer most from this.

“Some of these people are not going to get the product they need,” he said. “It’s not going to happen. You know, big shortage.”

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