Nairn businessman Terence Watson has started a petition with regard to what he considers the unfair costs that some carriers charge to bring goods to the Highlands and Islands. The petition at number10.gov.uk and has gained sufficient support in terms of the number of people who have ‘signed’ it, for Mr Watson to expect an official Government response.
Like Mr Watson and I’m sure many others, I have winced at the carriage charges that some firms levy when delivering to Nairn, sometimes the carriage is more expensive than the goods themselves. Where I can, I always cancel my order and let the company concerned know as to why. Once or twice this has had a positive effect in that companies have offered to put the goods ‘in the’ post rather than use a carrier, and have then charged me an acceptable amount. This is usually just smaller companies; larger ones are not so flexible.
Whilst the current carriage levy for the likes of Nairn can sometimes seem unfair, from a business point of view I can see it becoming an increasing problem. As companies begin to cherry pick their customers to increase their profits, sending goods to far flung places such as Nairn are not that attractive, miles travelled equal carbon fuel used, which in turn adds to costs.
Unless there is a radical change in the way that food is grown and produced, it is likely that prices in our supermarkets will also rise compared to those in more populated areas nearer to distribution centres.
The biggest advocator for flat fee post has been the Royal Mail, but with the possible break up/sell off of the company I can see that will soon change, we will no longer be able to send a letter to anywhere in Britain for the cost of a fixed price stamp, and the same will happen with parcels.
I fear that in the future if you want to get cheaper goods you are going to have to move to be nearer greater population densities. You can of course always avoid all carriage costs by shopping on our High Street!