Back in the day, before COVID changed everything, shipping personal & work-related possessions to a new school was, shall we say….an experience! In the seemingly never-ending age of COVID, the already murky waters of international shipping may have turned into an uncharted storm best avoided.
Consider the following:
1. Container ships are experiencing excessively long offshore waits to enter port. The average wait to unload at Long Beach, California, for example, has been just shy of 18 days. If containers can’t get in, yours can’t get out. Who absorbs the cost of a ship’s downtime at anchor?
2. Dock-side containers waiting pickup & delivery can sit for weeks, incurring storage fees of up to $300 per day. This because truckers are in short supply. It’s a no-brainer who absorbs that charge.
3. Empty containers are at a premium. The cost to rent one has skyrocketed instep with supply & demand. The price will surely be reflected in the final bill.
4. Oil prices are climbing worldwide, resulting in increased costs to operate ships, trucks & dock-side equipment.
5. Delays not only incur substantial additional fees but negatively impact the personal/professional lives of everyone waiting for much needed articles to arrive.
Prior to COVID, the international shipping business had a well-deserved reputation for “unforeseen fees” & paperwork ‘snafus’ that added up to a pricier move than originally quoted. Factor in today’s COVID-induced shipping loggerhead & your school’s shipping allowance could look like peanuts in comparison to your final bill. (See the ISR Discussion Topic: Don’t Get Burnt with International Shipping.)
International Schools which offer a shipping allowance normally allow that money to be spent at the teacher’s discretion. Avoiding sea shipments altogether & sticking to air may be the way to go. Air is by far & away more expensive, but if you seriously pare down your shipment, the essentials will arrive in time for the school year. For teachers returning home to their country of record, time may not be a concern.
At this milestone in the history of the pandemic, traveling light with just the essentials stuffed into a couple of suitcases could be the way to go. Household items along with living necessities can be purchased upon arrival using the unspent shipping allowance.
With new variants of COVID bursting onto the scene, the shipping industry could suffer increasingly costly setbacks, most, if not all, of which will passed on to the consumer, YOU. Imagine leaving all your possessions behind due to an previously unimaginable cost to ship them home!
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