Walmart Inc. is hitting some suppliers with two new charges as it struggles to soften the blow of surging transportation costs. Starting Aug. 1, suppliers that rely on Walmart’s “Collect” program to move their products to the company’s warehouses will have to pay a pickup charge based on the cost of goods received. In addition, they will have to face a fuel surcharge based on daily price changes that are matched against geographic locations and each shipment day, according to a memo from Walmart to the suppliers.
The changes “allow us to share cost accountability with our Collect suppliers, helping to enable us to meet our everyday low price commitment to our customers,” Walmart said in the memo, citing increased transportation costs over the past few years. The moves were reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.
Walmart is seeking to force suppliers to share the pain from rising freight costs after the retail giant cut its profit forecast in May and suffered the biggest one-day decline in its stock price since 1987. The shares have slipped further since then as investors question the company’s ability to withstand higher expenses for merchandise, transportation and labor.