By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Another busy day at Modloft, a Miami-based online/offline luxury furniture store.

There have been record sales during the pandemic. Folks stuck at home have been upgrading their home furnishing.

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But then for Modloft founder Ted Toledano, reality hit – the supply chain broke down.

Overseas, COVID forced factories to shut down ports. Stalled goods bound for America were caught in a logjam. 

“If you were able to secure your order, freight and bringing goods into the country, the rates of bringing them in were four times higher than normal rates,” Toledano told CBSMiaimi.

Here in the United States, a lack of drivers hogtied the trucking industry. Due to COVID, warehouse workers are in short supply. So what to do? Modloft made a big decision.

“The first thing we did was ramp up production on shore in the U.S. and to an extent Mexico,” said Toledano. 

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Modloft operates online and offline. Customers pick out what they want online and they can visit the companies show rooms to check fabrics, sizes, color and then place their order.

Ted Toledano said, “We got back to good old fashioned American-made manufacturing. It is a slow process, but it is coming.”

Toledano estimates about a quarter of their furniture needs are now being produced in the U.S. and some in Mexico, where the furniture is easily moved  across the border into our Texas warehouse facilities.  

In the case of Modloft, the supply chain shipping timetable from their factories to warehouses in the U.S. is about five days. That’s in contrast with shipping from the far east, which is estimated 120 days or more, if shipping can be arranged.

The bulk of Modloft’s furniture, in their modified supply chain, is produced in California, eliminating supply chain problems like the expensive ocean-going shipping and the jammed ports.

Would Modloft’s new business model work for large U.S. corporations who have be urged to bring production facility’s back to the USA?

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“I don’t know if every product vertical could move on shore. I don’t know that, but what I do know is our particular space there are resources in this country, natural resources in this country, to produce furniture,” the Modloft founder said.