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Let’s investigate why shippers let those containers pile up | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Sunday’s letters to the editor.
Ship to shore cranes work the container ship CMA CGM Laperouse at the Georgia Ports Authority's Port of Savannah, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, in Savannah, Ga.
Ship to shore cranes work the container ship CMA CGM Laperouse at the Georgia Ports Authority's Port of Savannah, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, in Savannah, Ga. [ STEPHEN B. MORTON | AP ]
Published Jul. 17

Investigate the shippers

Shipping containers are piling up

InterGlobal Products has been in the business of trading agricultural commodities since 2001. We have never encountered a situation where shipping lines refuse to collect their containers from warehouse yards in a timely manner. The containers are the property of the shipping companies. Normally they require importers to take and return the container quickly. In fact, the shipping lines are quick to charge per diem fees if the containers’ return is delayed.

Today, shipping lines refuse to give importers an appointment time to return the containers. They gladly waive their per diem fees, but they don’t consider the storage fees charged by the receiving warehouses, which can accrue thousands of dollars. This is analogous to renting a vehicle and being barred from returning it because the lot is full and demanding you park it an undetermined time at your expense in a covered parking lot.

Government officials are certainly aware we are facing a great deal of inflation in America. Much of the increases are directly related to dramatic rise in ocean freight, which began early in 2021. Major shipping lines around the globe took advantage of the pandemic to jack their container rates overnight. There has been no relief from these sky-high rates, while the origin cost of most of the commodities we purchase have hardly changed. The government should investigate what I believe are extortionist policies the shipping companies use to make importers pay for their inefficiencies.

Jack West, Dade City

The writer is president of InterGlobal Products.

Plant it and they will come

Mayor wants community input | July 12

St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch is looking for ideas for the Trop site. Here’s another option: Make this site like New York City’s Central Park. Put in only native plants and trees. Build natural pathways and enhance Booker Creek. Let’s take a breather from any more high-rises for a while. Imagine a quiet zone inside downtown where families can walk and enjoy natural without getting in a car to drive to.

Carl Graher, St. Petersburg

Let’s regain the American dream

The state of the union

Integrity is something we have when it pleases us. Caring about others is a lost concept. America was a belief so profound we would gladly bleed for it. But now we bleed over each other and do nothing about it. We were once the American dream, now we are the American nightmare. Would I ever bleed again for this country? I think not.

Rick Forster, Riverview

Use talents for good

Planespotting the rich and famous | July 10

If the 19-year-old “planespotter” were my son, I would tell him to use his talents and intellect for a greater good, not to “out” the locations of planes of the rich and famous — and then to offer to stop in return for a Tesla or the like. I am no fan of Elon Musk, but he has a right to privacy and safety just like every other person flying. Planespotting might be legal, but that doesn’t make the activity right, particularly when it is used for potential monetary gain.

Deanna Bishop, St. Petersburg

She’s right, you know

Republicans should dump the kooks | Perspective, July 10

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Columnist Jennifer Rubin is spot-on: Republicans should dump the kooks. Her writing is not subtle, and when she’s got the Trump-oriented Republican Party in her sights, you can expect a frank, specific and sometimes contentious examination. She has earned the right to speak her mind. She’s a dedicated conservative and, before Donald Trump, was an adamant supporter of everything Republican. But she has given up on the quaint notion there is a peaceful middle ground of conversation with Trump and his supporters and understands there is no possible compromise with MAGA-style partisanship. This is because the current political atmosphere is where one party is grounded in a lie, and the other has no option but to dispute that lie. Compromise may come when more Republicans publicly repudiate Trump and his lie, but until then it is impossible.

Jon Crawfurd, Guldport

Behind the numbers

Where did Biden go wrong? | Column, July 13

Although I may agree with the polling that our country is headed in the wrong direction, it is too simplistic to lay it all at President Joe Biden’s door. There are many of us who feel this way not because of President Biden or the Democrats, but because of actions like the Supreme Court becoming a Republican court and Gov. Ron DeSantis and all his authoritarian actions. There are many reasons we are headed in the wrong direction, so we need to see both sides of the coin.

David Ekin, New Port Richey

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