Many challenges for traders with a currency shortage and rising freight costs | Letters to the Editor
Faced with the challenge of obtaining foreign currencies, if buying and selling is your livelihood, what can you do other than obtain currencies between TT $ 7 and US $ 1.
Local shipping and air agents deny T&T currency on freight charges with the terms “pay first then pick up”.
Freight must now be paid in US dollars.
Local transportation and handling charges have increased and now to clear a shipment from Piarco and other ports of entry due to Covid-19 requires an appointment which could cause you to miss the day. upfront (in order for the importer to get his shipment, he now has to pay the storage costs).
What happens is the importer starts paying rent on their shipment if they are unable to raise the US dollars through the bank.
May I mention that banks take three months to release US dollars for imports.
Importers using their credit cards to pay freight in US dollars are now charged 3% on freight, known as a credit card administration fee.
Before Covid-19, the cost of freight for example would be around US $ 2,900 for a TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit).
Shipping and handling charges have gone up 150 percent, and you are not talking about the courier when you shop online.
While the government collects a seven percent online shopping tax (OPT), couriers charge three times the cost of the item upon collection.
I know the importer will tell the courier to keep the item.
Trinidad imports raw materials for manufacturing and raw materials have increased.
Are supermarkets going to absorb the incidental costs?
Do you know the answer.
Remember that freight rates are on the rise again.