Schoolwear accessories supplier William Turner has introduced a 2% freight surcharge on all of its items manufactured overseas from 1 July.

The decision is due to the ongoing issue of the huge spike in freight rates for goods shipped from overseas, explained Andy Smith, sales director at William Turner.

“We had hoped, and were advised, that the rates would come down after Chinese New Year once the shipping companies sorted their issues around supply and capacity — this hasn’t happened though, and now the advice is that the high rates may last until the end of the year.

“We have been absorbing this cost for many months, but cannot now afford to keep this going.

“It is therefore with regret that we need to apply a 2% freight surcharge onto all items manufactured offshore from 1 July — this will be listed as a separate item on affected invoices.

“As soon as rates return or improve markedly, we will of course remove the surcharge, and of course our school ties, which are made proudly here in the UK, are not affected.

“May I take this opportunity to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to make this back-to-school as successful as possible.”