Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kids of Character

Artistic Toy has partnered with the Kids of Character – Lehigh Valley to promote character education.  James Socci, President of Artistic Toy has been nominated to the organizations Board of Directors in 2012.  This month Northwestern Lehigh High School students in the Interact Club will be taking teddy bears into Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital.  Students will comfort patients and share the great character traits of Theodore Roosevelt.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Product Importers need to take action now to prepare for strike

Are you ready for slower delivery times and increased shipping costs in 2013?

There are only a couple days left until the East Coast Longshoreman strike goes into effect.  On December 29, 2012, the 90 day contract extension for the East Coast Longshoreman expires.  Without a new contract or the government stepping in force the Port workers back to work under the Taft-Hartley Act imported promotional products needed for events in January or February will be stuck in ports.  

Surprisingly, there has been no news regarding contract expiration that could lead to a strike that will cripple importers from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico. In 2002, the West Coast Longshoreman 10 day labor lock-out costs the U.S. economy $1 billion per day and slowed deliveries for 6 months.  

Artistic Toy is preparing all of its customers who have goods shipping before the end of the year that deliveries will be slowed down due to port congestion and additional charges accessed by carriers to deliver goods to door.  We are advising distributors with orders scheduled to deliver by sea in January and February they should plan on at least a 14 day delay and could see additional freight surcharges as much as 40%.  Speak to your customers immediately to arrange partial air shipments for end of January and February events.

Based on our last conversation with our Customs Broker and Freight Forwarder the following costs would apply when the strike goes into effect.

Port Surcharge - A Port Congestion Surcharge of $600/20'; $750 /40' and $950/45' container will be assessed to all shipments due to labor unrest, including but not limited to strikes, lock-outs, work stoppages or slow down at any U.S. port(s). 

Demurrage Charges - The first 4 Working Days free (excludes weekends and holidays).

On day 5 the following charges apply:

Date of Delivery + 4 Work Days - 1 – 4 days  - $207 per day
Date of Delivery + 4 Work Days - 5 - 9 days – $260 per day
Date of Delivery + 4 Work Days - 10+ days -  $432 per day

In the past, all Demurrage charges have been waived.  There are so many uncertainties; however, we feel it is our responsibility to prepare customers for the worst case scenario and hope for the best.