Our school has several students from Japan. After they learn floral designs and/or shadow box arts (3 Dimensional Decoupage Arts), they usually go back to Japan. After getting back to Japan, some of them offer their own classes in Japan to teach what they learned at our school in California. In order to support such graduates who have their own classes in Japan, our school often sends (ships) lesson materials (such as pictures, frames and mats etc) to Japan so that such graduates can use above mentioned materials for their own lessons teaching shadow box arts.
When shipping lesson materials (as a parcel) to Japan, we have been depending on sea mail (parcel) provided by US Post Office. However all of a sudden, we were told that sea mail service was discontinued. This took place back in a few years ago. After that we have been obliged to depend on air mail which is much more expensive than sea mail. As air parcels for sending lesson materials are pretty heavy due to the nature of its contents, air freight charge is always extremely expensive compared to sea freight.
Suppose we send materials which cost only $40 to $50.00, we often pay $150 air freight charge (air parcel fee). We have this kind of unfavorable situation from time to time. When sea mail was available until about a few years ago, the cost of shipment was only $40-$50 because materials went to Japan by sea. This tells us that it does not make sense to send goods per air mail (air parcel) from California to Japan because freight cost represents 75% of the total price of merchandise, which is impossible and unacceptable in a business sense.
Being such situation, it is getting more and more difficult to send goods to Japan. We can easily guess the reason behind US POST OFFICE having discontinued sea mail service is mainly because of avoiding troublesome job. In spite the services provided by US Post Office are considered a kind of public services mainly provided to individual customers (who usually ship small quantities with limited amount of goods), some people say that this authority easily waived their duties. As sea mail service is no longer available, customers have no choice but to use air mail services which costs 3 times or more. This situation may affect the business done by US shippers who have been regularly exporting goods to foreign countries. And eventually it MAY decrease the amount of export from USA to foreign countries. However most of American people and US authorities do not recognize how this decision will give influence on the small scale export from USA to foreign countries.
As no other companies offer similar sea mail services for the shipment going offshore, customers have no choice but to depend on air mail service offered by U.S. Post Office. If the business is done in a large scale enough to use a transportation service provided by regular freight forwarders, such large scale businesses are not affected at all because they can easily clear and absorb minimum freight and minimum handling charges. And the export shipment done by regular freight forwarder is payable.
US Post Office is a kind of Monopoly that is not exposed to international competition. Under the current situation, residents who live in the United States cannot but use air mail services provided by US Post Office. When sending goods from USA to foreign countries, it is totally impossible to use mail delivery services provided by foreign countries although there are many foreign companies that are still offering sea mail parcel services for shipping to the United States. In our case, when sending goods from Japan to USA, we can easily make a choice either air mail or sea mail services, both of which are available. As common sense tells, if the goods is heavy, it will cost too much for sending by air. Therefore people prefer sea mail service even if it will take longer time. Now we cannot make this kind of choice in the United States. Again as mentioned above, US residents cannot use foreign services when sending goods to foreign countries.
The similar situation can be found in the case of Medical Treatment Services in the United States. According to my perception, one of the biggest reasons why the hospitalization fee , surgery fee and doctor consulting fee are unbelievably expensive in USA is mainly because such services are not exposed to international competition. If they are exposed to international competition like durable consumer goods (TV set, radio cassette, automobile etc.) which are imported from foreign countries and consumers in the United States can easily make a choice of which manufacturers’ or which country’s goods they should buy well considering their prices and quality of services, US Post Office may have behaved themselves when making a final decision for discontinuing sea mail services. And also US medical or hospital industry could not easily increase their service fees.
Here is an interesting comparison in the fee for appendix removal surgery between USA and Japan.
It usually costs approximately $20,000 to $25,000 with one day stay in a hospital in the United States. In Japan, it never exceeds $3,800 with 4-5 day stay in a hospital. US Residents have no choice but to depend on domestic medical doctors, hospitals and laboratories located in the United States. It does not sound realistic for American people to consult medical doctors in foreign countries and it is difficult for them to be hospitalized in hospitals located outside of the United States. Therefore they have no choice but to depend on the domestic medical service providers. In this sense medical industry in the United States are not exposed to international competition, which makes it easy for them to make price controls always in the favor of medical service providers.
The same could be said in the case of health (medical) insurance industry. The insurance premium for health insurance in the United States is unbelievably expensive compared with premium in foreign countries. The premium rate of American health insurance is ,roughly speaking, more than 10 times expensive compared with the premium rate of Japan. Some people say that US Insurance providers are taking advantage of the situation where they do not need to compete with foreign insurance companies and they can easily control the premium always in their favor as far as medical (health) insurance is concerned.
The bottom line is that any industries or business that are not exposed to severe competition can easily make money and can be easily spoiled. The story introduced in this section is not directly related to floral designs, flower arranging industry or floral school. However through the small scale operation of our cultural school (California Flower Art Academy) that happens to provide services not only domestically in the United States but also internationally involving a foreign country , we often find a different situation which cannot be found in foreign countries.
California Flower Art Academy is engaged in teaching various types of flower arrangements from European floral designs to Japanese Ikebana and also shadow box arts (3 Dimensional Decoupage Art originated in Europe). If you are interested in earning decent skills in floral art, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org We help you make a difference.