Ingram Micro resellers in Australia look increasingly likely to be hit with additional charges after the distributor announced plans to restrict free freight and introduce handling fees in the US from September 2. It implemented similar charges in Europe this week.
In a letter to US partners, Ingram said free freight will only be offered for online or non-e-commerce Choice Advantage orders valued at more than $US200; all other orders will need to be above $US600 to qualify for free freight. A $US2 handling fee will also be added to orders of all size to cover processing and added transportation management costs, according to Ingram. Non-physical items including software licences and warranties are not affected.
The distributor blamed the rising cost of fuel and freight charges for its decision to increase charges, and warned that the problem was a global phenomenon.
"The operational cost of doing business in North America, and around the world, is steadily increasing - especially when it comes to freight and transport," the letter read. "This economic reality makes it necessary for Ingram Micro to globally adjust current freight and sales terms and conditions to allow for rising fuel, freight and handling costs.
"We recognise that these are added costs, which you may choose to absorb or pass along to your customers, and that is why we will continue to offer multiple shipping options. Ultimately, our goal is to address the rising cost of freight and use our core logistics expertise and scale to help you manage your costs as best we can.
"This was a difficult decision, but a necessary one. Ingram Micro remains committed to ensuring your shipments reach their destination in a timely and efficient manner."
Ingram's local managing director, Guy Freeland, was not available for comment at the time of press.