This month, I decided to talk to you about something that affects all of my customers in some manner or other:
The media has been discussing the cost of shipping increase off and on of late, but have you realized just how much it is affecting you?
In the last year, I have seen the cost of shipping rise by 100%.
It boils down to two main things:
- Gas prices
- Lack of Workforce
Gas prices are an obvious factor. It costs more to fuel up the trucks to transport the items, so the shipping costs have to go up as well. The lack of workforce is a little trickier. It has to do partially with the increased regulations over the last ten years. The rules have gotten a lot harsher and more extensive, making many truckers leave the industry entirely. The other problem is one that majorly affects the remodeling industry as a whole:
There is no influx of new workers to take over for retirees! Exacerbating the problem are large companies, like Amazon and Walmart, that are snapping up all the available drivers they can find.
I have been seeing similar issues in more areas than just shipping, however. There is a shortage of electricians, contractors, flooring installers, window treatment installers and many other necessary occupations.
The last housing bubble pushed a lot of the trained, skilled workers into retirement (or out of state) and there wasn't enough work for the new generation to be hired and trained. There has also been a large push away from trade style occupations in the schools and toward college degrees and tech jobs.
What is the bottom line? We need to encourage people to apply for these necessary occupations and be prepared for the increases in prices and decreases in availability while the markets settle a bit.
So please bear with us while we go through all these changes.