Wharf dispute to hurt low end of channel

Wharf dispute to hurt low end of channel

The dispute on the Australian wharves will soon bite into the IT channel, according to several of the 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 these classes of product are usually 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.huge loss potentialPeter Atton, marketing manager for LG Electronics, IT division, estimated the company had close to $1 million 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 however. 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.

Like Samsung, Natcomp, the importer and distributor of Proview monitors, has avoided its freight being handled by Patrick Stevedores and, according to managing director Fabio Grassia, is not affected.

Other major vendors contacted by ARN did not wish to discuss the inventory pressures they may be experiencing due to the dispute.

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