International and domestic transportation costs have risen dramatically since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, and those costs borne by businesses will be passed along to consumers.
Container rates from China to the U.S. west coast have continued to rise this year, and more rate increases are possible until the majority of holiday goods has been transported. Coupled with the skyrocketing container rates, small package carriers like UPS and FedEx have increased their rates to all-time highs. Bigger trucking companies that haul truckload and LTL have set benchmark rates this year that likely will last until the end of 2021.
Larger companies aren’t immune to these rate increases, but they do have more leverage in negotiating better prices because of the volume they ship. Smaller companies, however, have little to no bargaining power and will have to absorb these higher prices, and all of those costs will be reflected in higher retail prices.
Since starting this business in 2013, Christmas Lights Creations has tried to be reasonable with our pricing. Like any business, we have to make money in order to operate. Those costs that we pass along in the form of higher retail prices have always been the end result of wholesale prices and shipping rates we have to pay our suppliers and UPS.
2021 will be no different, but we will have to raise our retail prices more than we would like. In most cases the retail price of a product may increase one dollar, while in others it may increase three or four. We’ve already done price comparisons among our competitors and we’re comfortable that our retail prices are not out of line.
Shipping rates you see when you’re going through the checkout process will generally be the same today as they will be until the end of the year. We encourage you to pay attention to the different shipping methods offered during checkout and select the most cost effective way to ship your order.
Currently we offer free domestic shipping on orders of $150 or more, but we may have to increase the threshold at some point to offset some of the cost increases we’re incurring this year.
For residents in Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S. territories, we can not ship an order to you for free regardless of the amount of purchase. Please read the U.S. Territories blog for more information about shipping costs.
Our international customers can purchase products through our eCrater store, but be aware that price increases will take effect on September 1. We use UPS in a very limited capacity and the USPS for the majority of our international shipping.