Canadian retailers are struggling with higher shipping costs as couriers tack hefty fuel surcharges onto shipping rates to recoup record gas prices.
The additional charge is sending the cost of shipping goods within Canada higher, topping 40 per cent for some carriers.
For stores with high online return rates, such as apparel and footwear companies, the increased cost of shipping can be especially challenging.
So far, most companies are trying to absorb the extra domestic shipping charges, Retail Council of Canada spokeswoman Michelle Wasylyshen said.
With inflation squeezing consumers and an ongoing battle for online dollars, she said retailers are reluctant to pass on costs.
“Retail is one of the most competitive industries in Canada, so raising minimum free shipping thresholds or adding surcharges to consumers directly is often done as a last resort,” she said.
“Retailers would prefer to find savings elsewhere.”
Higher domestic shipping costs come as international freight costs finally begin to stabilize.
Retailers have basically traded more reasonable international container freight rates for higher shipping within Canada, experts say.
“The idea of ever being in equilibrium around fuel prices or containers or what’s happening with worldwide supply chains is long gone,” Indigo Books & Music Inc. president Peter Ruis said in an interview.
Indigo, which saw online sales soar during the pandemic, is also avoiding raising prices despite skyrocketing shipping rates.
“We’re absolutely clear that especially at the moment with inflation and how customers are feeling … we will not want to be raising prices,” Ruis said.
Instead, the company is focused on developing the ability to ship from local stores, rather than from a centralized warehouse, to cut down on shipping costs.
“In October we launch our new website which will have a ship from store facility, which means we can use all of our stores as a warehouse for the online consumer,” Ruis said. “If someone’s in Halifax, we could choose to send them product from the Halifax store rather than from the central (distribution centre) in Toronto or Calgary.”
He added: “In a situation where the fuel charges are really difficult, we can mitigate that by sending stock locally.”
Tips to conserve gas
Apparel retailers, which often see the highest return volumes among retailers, also appear determined to avoid passing fuel surcharges on.
Canadian underwear and apparel brand Knix Wear Inc., which does most of its sales online and offers free return shipping on most orders, said it doesn’t plan to change the qualifying threshold for free shipping.
“We know there are several external factors affecting shipping and costs but we do not want our customers to feel those impacts,” company spokeswoman Emily Scarlett said.
Shipping surcharges vary between different courier companies.
A FedEx spokesman said the shipping company manages fluctuations in fuel prices through “dynamic fuel surcharges.”
Fuel surcharges on shipments within Canada are subject to weekly adjustments based on a rounded average of the Canadian diesel retail price per litre, James Anderson said in an email.
For packages outside the country, the company bases its fuel surcharge on a rounded average of the U.S. Gulf Coast spot price for a gallon of kerosene-type jet fuel, he said.
The FedEx Express fuel surcharge is currently 41.50 per cent within Canada, and 26.50 per cent on international shipments.
DHL Express said it applies the fuel surcharge to offset fluctuations in fuel prices, which can impact the cost of transportation services _particularly for the company’s aviation fleet.
The fuel surcharge for international shipments is set at 25 per cent for July 2022, according to the company’s website.
Canada Post’s fuel surcharge on domestic services is currently 37 per cent, while its international parcel service is 21.75 per cent, according to its website.
© 2022 The Canadian Press
Ageism: Does it Exist or Is It a Form of ‘I’m a Victim!’ Mentality? [ Part 4 ]
How you think is everything.
This is the fourth and final column of a 4-part series dealing with ageism while job hunting.
The standard advice given by “experts” to overcome ageism revolves contorting yourself to “fit in,” “be accepted,” and “be invited.” Essentially, their advice is to conceal your age and hope the employer throughout the hiring process won’t figure it out and hire you.
It takes a lot of time and energy to be accepted into places where you aren’t welcome, and it can be heartbreaking.
Finding an employer who accepts you for who you are, regardless of age, gender, race, or whatever, is the key to happy employment. There’s no better feeling than the feeling you’re welcomed. Therefore, my advice to job seekers is: Be your best self and let the chips fall where they may. Doing your best and accepting the outcome will give you a Zen-like sense of freedom.
An attempt to infer someone’s biases based on their actions is usually just an assumption based on what you want to believe. If it benefits you to think someone is practicing ageism (e.g., a convenient excuse), then you’ll believe you’re the victim of ageism.
The fact is you don’t know what the hiring manager’s behind the scene looks like. The entire company’s leadership team judges their hiring decisions. Your fit with current employees needs to be considered. Budget constraints exist. Let’s not forget the biggest hiring influencer, and their past hiring mistakes, which they don’t want to repeat.
While reviewing resumes for a senior accounting position, the hiring manager thinks, “The Centennial College graduates I’ve hired didn’t last six months. While Bob has plenty of experience, he’s a Centennial College alumnus. Hiring another six months quitter won’t look good on me.” “Karen has worked for FrobozzCo International. If I recall, the company reportedly funneled money into offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes. I wonder if Karen was involved.”
Association experiences contribute to most biases. You know the saying, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” If you met five rude redheads in a row, the next one will also be rude, right? The human brain is wired to look for patterns and predict future behavior based on those patterns. Call it a survival skill. When we first meet someone, we try to predict what behavior to expect from them using past experiences.
This quick assessment is why hiring managers decide, within as little as two minutes, whether a candidate is worth their time. While it’s important to try and make a good first impression (READ: image), you have no control over how others interpret it.
Bottom-line: You can’t control another person’s biases.
Based on how I hire, and conversations with hiring managers, I believe the following to be true. An employer is more interested in the results you can deliver for them than your age or whatever “ism” you believe is against you.
Can employers afford to pass up qualified candidates who could contribute to their bottom line? Of course not! (Okay, it’s “unlikely.”) You’ll be in demand if you can demonstrate a track record of adding value to your employers.
Having the belief that your age prevents you from finding the employment you want is a paralyzing belief. Ageism exists for all ages, which I think many people use as a crutch.
“They said I was overqualified. That’s ageism!”
“They hired someone younger than me. That’s ageism!”
“They said I wasn’t experienced enough. That’s ageism!”
Get over yourself!
Employers can hire whomever they deem to be the best fit for their business. It’s self-righteous to judge someone else’s biases (READ: preferences), especially when their biases don’t serve your interests. Let’s say, for example, you’re 52 years old, and the hiring manager prefers candidates between 45 and 55 (Yes, I know such hiring managers), and they hire you. Would you call out the hiring manager’s bias that worked in your favor?
If you believe your age is an obstacle, here’s my advice: Break the fourth wall. If you sense your age is the elephant in the room, put your age on the table and see what happens. When interviewing, I always mention, early in, that I’ve been managing call centers since 1996. I then let my interviewer do the mental math and wrestle with any age bias they may have. As I mentioned in my last column, the employer most likely Googled you and has a good idea of your age. Therefore, since you were vetted to determine if you were interview-worthy, tell yourself that your age is irrelevant.
When interviewing, don’t focus on “isms.” Doing so makes them your reality. Instead, focus on the problems the position you’re interviewing for is meant to solve.
Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send Nick your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
CMHC reports annual pace of housing starts up 1.1 per cent in July – CP24
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, August 16, 2022 9:02AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 16, 2022 9:02AM EDT
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts in July edged higher compared with June despite a slowdown in urban starts.
The housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in July was 275,329 units, an increase of 1.1 per cent from June.
The annual rate of urban starts was down 0.8 per cent at 254,371 units in July, while multi-unit urban starts fell 0.3 per cent to 195,987 units.
The pace of single-detached urban starts dropped 2.3 per cent to 58,384 units.
Meanwhile, rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20,958 units.
The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates was 264,426 units in July, up from 257,862 in June.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 16, 2022.
Recall: Baby rocker, swing recalled over strangulation risks – CTV News
Two infant products, manufactured by baby gear company 4moms, are being recalled due to strangulation hazards, according to a consumer product notice issued by Health Canada.
Health Canada says the recall involves certain MamaRoo baby swings and the RockaRoo baby rockers.
Those products impacted by the recall include MamaRoo infant swing set models that use a 3-point harness including models 4M-005, 1026 and 1037, according to the recall notice.
The MamaRoo model that uses a 5-point harness is not included in the recall, according to Health Canada.
The affected RockaRoo baby rocker’s model number is 4M-012. The model numbers can be found on the bottom of the products.
Both products have restraint straps that can dangle below the seat, and infants who are not seated can become “entangled in the straps, posing a strangulation hazard,” Health Canada said in the recall notice.
“This issue does not present a hazard to infants placed in the seat of either product,” the agency noted.
According to the recall, there have been no reports of strangulation or injury submitted to the company as of Aug. 9.
“Consumers with infants who can crawl should immediately stop using the recalled products and place them in an area where crawling infants cannot access,” reads the statement.
Consumers who have purchased one of the recalled products can register on the 4moms recall registration website or by phone at 877-870-7390. After doing this, 4moms will send a strap fastener to consumers with instructions on how to install.
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