The Shipping Crisis Made Simple

Why does that game you want cost more?

Paul A. DeStefano
8 min readSep 30, 2021
Goods waiting for ships

The Shipping Crisis. The Global Shipping Crisis.

You hear it nearly every day now. Your favorite product has gone up in price and when you ask why, the answer you get is “The Shipping Crisis”.

And an immediate question comes to mind. Why not just… wait a few days longer to get the product? Why does it come out of your pocket?

Hopefully I can illustrate this using some diagrams and examples that make sense. I’ll keep the math to nice round numbers, but they’re pretty close to the real ones.

The Established Model

Pre-Shipping Crisis, there was a nice established model and order to things that hummed along like beautiful clockwork. Let’s take a simple sample product. A board game. In the established production model, a factory sources multiple products that they turn into the game. Cardboard, plastic, packaging. That’s those three big arrows going to the factory. The factory got the raw materials and turned it into that game you’ve been waiting for. This continued on the track, going to a retail store, fulfilling through KickStarter, a mail order catalog, a middle man distribution…



Paul A. DeStefano

Author, Board Gamer/Designer. Paul D’s Tainted Dragon Inn on FB for geeky stuff. Represented by B Swanson The Purcell Agency. Riftsiders.