Economic Affairs

Broken supply chains: Why a US$648 bike costs US$477 to ship to Singapore

Containers stacked at the Port of Oakland in California on Oct 14, 2021. As of last week, there were around 60 ships outside the port of Los Angeles alone.PHOTO: AFP

Over the weekend, I wanted to order a mid-range bicycle from Amazon - the Schwinn GTX Comfort Adult Hybrid bike, which costs US$648 (S$872), way more than I expected. I thought I would get it in about three weeks, as is usually the case. But to my surprise, I found I might have to wait till after Christmas - more than two months, in other words.

Even worse than the sticker shock was the shipping cost from the United States, which was quoted at a whopping US$477.48, or almost three-fourths of the already elevated price of the bicycle itself. I held off my order.

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