Due to the continued extraordinary rising freight costs; including those from over seas; we are seeing price increases up into the double digits from many of our manufacturers. There is little to no warning on some of these price increases. We try to give as much advanced notice as we can to our customers, but when we are not notified until the increase goes into effect our hands are tied. Many manufacturers are raising their freight allowed order minimum amount to offset the price increases as to be able to continue to service their customer base.
Long lead times are still effecting many manufacturers that receive product in via the west coast ports. Some of the ships are rerouting to the east coast to offload, but are incurring heavy costs in doing so. Having gone through infrastructure changes, the east coast has handled the increased record breaking traffic well. They will continue to make infrastructure changes to handle the expected heightened demand as we approach the peak season of fall.
On top of the increased amount of containers at the ports that need to be transported, the nation is faced with a driver shortage. The industry has seen a 40% in graduation rates from commercial driving schools and there is a high number retiring and/or quitting the industry. Companies are having to become creative in hiring drivers; running their driving programs continuously throughout the year, incentives, relocation of terminals, investing in new equipment and technology.
Continued price increases on raw material and longer than normal lead times have already been forecasted into 2022.