Apple resorted to private jets and sea travel to try to fix stock shortages

FedEX plane
FedEX plane (Image credit: FedEX)

What you need to know

  • Apple has reportedly increased its use of private jets and cargo ships to try and deal with stock shortages.

A new report claims that Apple has had to resort to hiring private planes and increase its use of cargo ships in an attempt to try and deal with the logistical nightmare that the pandemic has caused. Apple has seen stock shortages throughout the last few months and it's trying to find ways to fix that by throwing money at the problem.

According to a report by The Information, Apple has started to ship some products via slower cargo ships so as to free up space in faster airplanes for more time-sensitive products – like brand new iPhones.

For example, last year Apple began shipping some AirPods by sea for the first time. In the third quarter of last year, the company greatly increased ocean freight for older model iPhones, whose delivery is less time sensitive, to free up air cargo space for the new iPhone 12, according to an analysis of vessel manifest data and the person with direct knowledge of Apple's logistics operations.

Apple has also reportedly relied on considerably more private planes of late, chartering more than 200 of them to help ease shipment concerns once cargo space in other planes had been exhausted. As a comparison, the iPhone 7 launch in 2016 saw just three private jets hired to get handsets into stores.

While the report says that Apple products took just a few days longer to arrive than normal, the company continues to suffer in some areas. AirPods Max, for example, are still showing shipping dates of multiple weeks while some iPhone accessories are almost impossible to find in stock and available to buy, too.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.