Let me start by saying that I'm in favor of anything
that lowers shipping costs. The FedEx rep is almost afraid to visit us knowing I'll hit her up for lower prices
USPS is good for small packages, but FedEx blows them away for many parts of the world (often by 50% or more). The other problem is that there are countries (like Australia) that have high fees imposed on the carriers themselves and I'm not talking about customs fees that are paid by the consumer. A good example of this is that shipping to New Zealand is about 20-40% less expensive than Australia. There is no reasonable explanation for that, other than that the carriers are getting hit with other costs.
Shipping by sea is not an option. To make it work, you would need to ship a significant number of cases to a single destination. I've had several people look into freight forwarding services only to find that they can't do any better. I am completely open to any ideas though.
Our products aren't designed for retail distribution (too many options and accessories). That isn't going to change - in fact, we'll only have more as time goes on.I want to offer an unprecedented level of customization while keeping our prices in line with other high end manufacturers. I'm a big believer in distributed manufacturing, so someday, I'd like to have service centers in other parts of the world.
We are looking into ways to reduce the shipping costs and will continue to do so. An example of that is the STH10. Although it is much larger than the M8, the cost to Australia is only about 10% more (flat-packed). We have redesigned the pedestals so that an MH10 and Extended Pedestal can ship in a TH10 carton which is much less expensive that the two package design we had before. We have a new FedEx ground service to Canada that is less expensive. In short, we'll never stop looking for better ways to meet your needs.