High shipping costs, delays hamper US small business recovery

Long waits for merchandise deliveries and crippling costs are hobbling the efforts of small and midsize businesses across the U.S. to benefit from the economic recovery, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

With retail giants like Walmart and Amazon rushing to restock to meet booming demand from consumers, smaller competitors are battling over dwindling cargo space on boxships coming in from Asia. Those who want immediate shipments often must pay about three times the going freight cost, according to brokers and cargo owners.

Shipping delays and high freight rates are among several challenges facing American businesses, which also are dealing with rising costs for products and a shortage of available labor. These factors weigh especially heavily on small businesses, which tend to have fewer resources to absorb price increases and less leverage either to negotiate lower rates or pass along the higher costs to customers.

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