Owner of Berea-based freight company says operating costs are at an all-time high due to pandemic

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 5:21 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Just when you thought the COVID pandemic was done wreaking havoc, it strikes again.

This time it’s causing issues for the people tasked with shipping items worldwide like Richard Gareau.

“It’s not just upsetting the supply chain, but it’s also adding many days and adding dollars to the cost of them,” said Gareau.

Gareau owns the Berea-based freight company Midwest TransAtlantic Lines.

They ship a wide range of products to businesses all over the world.

He told 19 News that the pandemic has caused a lot of shipping delays for him and other freight companies.

“In the Los Angeles port had a bit where they had quite a few longshoremen had COVID or COVID leave and that stopped the ports accepting vessels because they had no laborer to handle cargo,” said Gareau.

This may not seem like a big deal for you at home, but Gareau says this will surely slow down when businesses can get their products to you.

“Typically, we were getting normal transit 25, 26 days from the far east. Now we’re approaching 60, 65 days,” said Gareau.

Long delays aren’t the only thing Gareau says the pandemic has affected.

The cost for him to even ship items has skyrocketed.

Gareau has been in the freight business for 40 years and these new shipping costs are at an all-time high right now.

“Back in the early 80′s, we use to pay $8-9,000 for a container and those containers now are reaching the $20,000 mark,” Gareau added.

Gareau says these expensive freight prices will eventually put a bigger price tag on the items you pay for.

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