every two weeks, FCNews seeks out flooring retailers across the country to offer their advice on hot topics of the day. This week we asked: What have you done to combat freight costs and surcharges?
Here are their responses:
We’ve always included a standard freight charge on every order. More recently, we moved to a per-square-foot freight fee for hard surface to address the new surcharges. This has helped us account for freight fees and surcharges.
-Adam Joss, The Vertical Connection
Carpet One Floor & Home, Columbia, Md.
We just pass those charges onto the customer. We try to stay abreast of the changes in real-time so we don’t get hurt.
—Brian McCarver, Brian’s Flooring & Design, Birmingham, Ala.
Freight costs and surcharges are no different than any other cost of doing business. With all the price increases you just have to raise your prices more often, always maintaining your preset margin. Everything is more expensive, so don’t be afraid to make money.
– Rob Elder, Hiller’s Flooring America, Rochester, Minn.
Back in mid-May we instituted a $0.10/square foot fuel surcharge on all our labor. We keep 30% to cover our estimators’ fuel and the 70% goes to the installers for their gas-guzzling vans. The public has been understanding. When questioned about it, we tell them that we could have easily hidden the surcharge in an increased labor rate but we wanted to be transparent and able to reduce the rate when gasoline prices go down.
– Steve Weisberg, Crest Flooring, Allentown, Pa.
We have worked hard to combat freight costs by combining orders for one shipment of all orders. We ship with third-party freight companies instead of mill trucks for lower costs and negotiate our freight costs when investing in selling systems for the showroom. Freight surcharge has been more difficult to lower, but we do intentionally drive business to our vendors who don’t have a surcharge or lowest percentage.
– Carlton Billingsley, Floors and More, Benton, Ark.