Mangum Design-Build recently traveled back to the Fujian province in China to renegotiate unit cost pricing for stone materials imported for building projects in the States.  Of the purpose of the trip, Kevin Mangum says “with the uptick in contracts signed and pending, our group has enough leverage to lower overall stone costs through volume purchase agreements with factories we partner with.  Things are starting to slow down in China, and our contracts ensure more stability with the factories through consistent material orders, and we get the benefit of lower unit costs with marble and granite.  It offsets increased shipping rates we’ve seen over the last year, when container prices bottomed out.”

Mangum expects shipping costs to continue to rise another 15% over the next six months.  Says Mangum, “They’re still 500-plus container ships anchored off of the coast of Singapore that are sitting.  Yang Ming, Evergreen, and the others are letting them barnacle until economic tradewinds ferret them back into service.”