Oh, and that week-long freeze in Texas shut down the petroleum companies, and now
foam products are backed up . Two chemicals go into foam production, one of which is a carcinogen. When the plants shut down, all production stopped. To get these plants back online, safety inspections are needed, and that has to be scheduled and completed. It isn’t just a simple flip of a switch.
Ground shipping was in trouble pre-pandemic as there were not enough drivers. It has become worse, with fewer drivers and fewer trucks. What does all this mean?
For one, it means freight and product prices are going up. Most home products had an increase of 15% - 25% with the newly imposed tariffs. Those price increases were the first round, and with the additional cost in manufacturing and freight, another 5%-8% has been added.
This means spending power has decreased . I have witnessed lighting fixtures triple since the beginning of 2020 and freight double. I recently calculated freight from a manufacturer increase as high as 30% with a surcharge of 3% added on top of the freight. Surcharges of 3% are becoming more and more common in the last few months as manufacturers struggle to control cost increases on their end. They absorb some and the rest are passed on to the consumer.
Sound depressing? Kinda is.