Wharf dispute hurts low end of channel

Wharf dispute hurts low end of channel

The dispute on Australian wharves will soon bite into the IT channel, according to several vendors surveyed by Australian Reseller News.

The vendors of bulky, low-cost items such as some printers and monitors are under the most pressure because they are often shipped rather than air-freighted.

Lexmark business printer product manager Ian Clohessy said there are several hundred thousand dollars worth of finished printers and assembly components around various docks in Australia.

"We are already supplementing our inventory by using air-freight . . . it's a cost of being in this business," he said.

Peter Atton, marketing manager for LG Electronics' IT division, estimated the company had close to $1 million dollars in monitors on the wharves and more at sea, in addition to several million dollars of consumer goods stuck as a result of the dispute. He explained that a 15in monitor would cost an additional $57 if air-freighted. "While there is not enough margin in any computer monitor to justify air-freight, we are getting close to some critical decision points with some products," he said.

Not everyone ARN spoke to was feeling the pinch though. Samsung IT&T division general manager Stefan Wasinski said although the company has containers coming in all the time through different ports, there are only two tied up at this point, and he doesn't expect it go on much longer.

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