Ingram Micro will increase general freight charges to resellers by 9 per cent and add a flat fee to drop shipments following a review of its operational costs.
The changes come two months after the introduction of handling fees and freight price rises on minimum orders by Ingram in the US and Europe.
In a letter sent to resellers this week, Ingram Micro managing director, Guy Freeland, said its general freight rates would increase by 9 per cent effective November 1. He pointed out the distributor had been absorbing rising freight costs and fuel surcharges from its transport providers since last year, but opted not to pass on those increases until at least after September 1, following another local review.
Ingram will also introduce a $5 fee on all drop ship orders from next month.
“The current challenging economic conditions and the high costs of fuel have caused many businesses to review their pricing strategies and cost bases across a broad range of industries,” Freeland said in the statement. “Ingram Micro in North America and Europe announced in July that they would instigate a full freight recovery model as the result of poor economic conditions. In Australia, we have instead chosen to implement a more flexible approach, taking into account local commercial sensitivities.
“We understand that any costs increases are tough but we have absorbed these for well over 12 months and now need to recover a portion of these to sustain service levels.”
Freeland told ARN the decision to raise freight charges was not taken lightly and said the approach adopted in the US and Europe had been more aggressive.
“We have tried to be sensitive to the concerns of our customers about cost increases, while being honest that we think that it is fair for us to seek some recovery,” he said. “The way we’ve implemented this, it doesn’t matter if you’re the largest or smallest customer, all freight will be increased.”
Nearly two years ago, Ingram introduced a separate 6.5 per cent fuel surcharge on freight rates to cover rising fuel costs. This time around, the new charges will be included automatically as part of a reseller’s total freight cost.
“Something we learnt then was that if you’re going to do anything relating to freight charges, you do it in the one freight line item,” Freeland said.
Alongside the changes to freight, Ingram outlined improvements to its returns process including reducing lead time from 30 days to seven days from receipt of product, as well as 48-hour authorisation and returns tracking via TechLink.
The distributor has also introduced a dedicated delivery fleet for high density areas in major areas of Sydney and extended its regional next day delivery services in Toowomba, Queensland.