We must impose a very modest increase in our fees, effective Nov 8
According to latest BLS/CPI statistics, overall inflation is running a little over 5% – a 30 year high! Our personal experience with food and energy costs is that they are significantly more than this! As you know, the labor market is very competitive, and our staff handles your shipments with OUTSTANDING customer service! To maintain this level of service, we must increase our entry fee by $7.50, effective November 8, to allow us to increase salaries to our staff commensurate with inflation. FYI, I am not included in this pay increase. Please also understand, this is our first rate increase in over 15 years, and we need this small increase to take care of our wonderful staff! We pray you understand the necessity of this action.
Freight payments due within 7 days of billing
As you are keenly aware, freight rates in ALL modes of transportation have skyrocketed during the last 15 months or so. Containers from China that were $4K in the spring of 2020 are now $22K-25K and climbing! We are unable to fund this huge increase in our cash flow requirements without your help. We have already approached many of you that we must receive freight payments within 7 days of billing date. We regret we must implement this policy across all customers effective immediately.
Trucking availability EXTREMELY tight
Please note the following letter we received from one of our preferred truckers, and he expresses very will the extreme stress on the trucking sector during these extraordinary times. The availability of drivers and equipment is so tight that truckers are claiming they cannot be responsible for per diem under these circumstances, even if technically their “fault” in normal times. The entire transportation system – truck, ocean, air, rail, and warehousing is stretched so far beyond their capacity that you should expect long delays and increased expenses well into 2022:
“…Due to the current climate in the trucking industry and the national driver shortage… [this trucker] must implement the following procedures…Starting October 1, 2021 we will no longer be responsible for any per diem that accrues as a result of delayed delivering of your container. Truck drivers are at an all-time low…and right now our current…workforce is extremely overwhelmed daily…
“To further explain…We will be able to pull your container out of the port in a timely manner (in most cases)… however, scheduling delivery could be delayed due to…drivers being booked out,as such the return of the empty container will be delayed. Please note the financial pain is being felt across the board [this carrier is waiving many charges such as storage and pre-pull]…
“Please do not take this personally… it’s just the climate of the industry…Also we are asking customers to contact their ocean freight rep and ask them to extend free time off dock to stop additional costs such as per diem.
“Our dispatch group will keep you in the loop with any delays of delivery service and you can make the decision then on how to proceed with shipment.
“Any per diem that ensues as a result after 10/1 will be the responsibility of the [importer].”
Again, the entire transportation system – truck, ocean, air, rail, and warehousing is stretched so far beyond their capacity! This is the most extraordinary time I have seen in our industry in the 38+ years I have been in it! You should expect long delays and increased expenses well into 2022!