I dunno, man. I had my first brush with a freight forwarder on January 7, 2021 and fully 99 emails and five months later, I had my shipment.
This was useful in part because I got a quote in mid-January but didn't purchase the machine and get it moving until mid-March. By the time it actually showed up April 28th the emails were entitled "Schroedinger's shipment" and the second-to-last time I talked to my guy at the freight forwarders he answered the phone "Frank quit, he's too embarrassed by the fact that he can't get 500lbs from Munich to Seattle in less than six weeks."
So I can give some insights on many of the steps here:
- US dollar fell. Well, China manipulates the shit out the RMB so whatever
- Shipping costs skyrocketed. I can tell you that the $2500 I paid for freight forwarding in January was $4k by March and I'm told is closer to $20k now. That's in talking to shippers. Dunno if you've been to the Port of Seattle lately but it looks like a scene from Ready Player One - I've never seen the boxes stacked so high.
- Labor costs rose 25%. When I picked up my box at the terminal in Kent it took 2 1/2 hours for them to forklift a 500lb crate from the ready area to the loading dock. The forklift driver told me they were operating at 10% capacity because their employees made more money staying home and collecting unemployment than they did driving forklifts. I can also tell you that most of the people there were loading their own shit, which freaked the forwarders out, because nobody wanted to pay $180 to have 500lb crates shipped across five zip codes.
- shipping box up 7%. I believe it. I needed to buy $190 worth of steel about five weeks ago. Then I needed to adjust my design based on the fact that Metal Shorts lies about the sizes they stock. In the ten days it took me to revise my design my $190 worth of steel became $370 worth of steel.
- Fedex home delivery costs went up 5%. They even sent out an email telling people it was. They didn't tell anyone that they went from one hub in Memphis to like eight right before the Pandemic hit, so they had to adopt to a new shipping paradigm as well as a work-from-home extravaganza and they landed flat-footed AF. It isn't as evident at UPS, who have long-term union employees, but FedEx has really screwed the pooch in the pandemic.
- "uncertainty makes the supply chain riskier" is a great euphemism for "gouging."
Their graph doesn't actually reflect a 25% increase in labor. The priced bars differ by $3 on both.
I will agree with you, however, that the article is fucking dumb. The author could have gotten that Amazon price back down simply by searching Walmart and AliExpress for "big dumb stuffed giraffe I don't need." Amazon absolutely tracks your cookies that tightly. I saved myself $80 on a hard drive a month ago by searching on Amazon, searching on NewEgg, searching on Best Buy and then searching on Amazon again.
Might as well call that extra $29 "Jeff Bezos Penisrocket tax."