The Suez Canal Blockage Caused Nintendo Switch Stock Shortages

The Suez Canal Blockage Caused Nintendo Switch Stock Shortages
Image: iStock/Wachiwit

Nintendo has blamed recent Switch shortages on the situation in the Suez Canal after the major shipping channel was blocked earlier this year.

In a recent investor Q&A, the company cited both the Suez Canal situation and the COVID-19 pandemic as reasons for recent delays.

Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said that “demand remains strong overall” for the console, specifically in the US.

“COVID-19 has caused declines and delays in freight traffic in markets outside of Japan, and retailers in some regions are experiencing temporary shortages. In particular, the accident that blocked the Suez Canal caused delays in the transportation of products bound for Europe, and retail inventories are tight in some countries,” he said in the English translation of the recent investor Q&A.

The company has been unable to keep up with the demand in the US, and believes shortages will continue for a while to come.

But shipping the consoles is just one of the issues Nintendo is currently facing, with the gaming giant also battling the global semiconductor shortage that is proving to be problematic for the tech industry overall.

“Demand for hardware continues to exceed our expectations even after the beginning of this calendar year, and production has currently not caught up to this high demand due to the tight supply and demand situation for semiconductor materials worldwide,” Furukawa said during the call.

“Although we are currently striving to produce as many units as possible, the fact is that our production plans are more uncertain than they were at the beginning of previous fiscal years,” he added. “Our full-year sales plan is based on the premise that we can secure the materials necessary for production, but if we are able to produce more units, we will work hard to meet the strong demand, and to be able to ship and sell those units.”

While shortages aren’t exactly a good thing, the fact that the Switch is still performing so well is a huge win for Nintendo. By the end of March 2021, the company has sold 84.59 million Switch consoles, which is no small feat.