Hong Kong – Disaster Relief Fund approves grants to provide relief in disaster-stricken Gansu and Qinghai

Disaster Relief Fund approves grants to provide relief in disaster-stricken Gansu and Qinghai


     In view of the recent 6.2-magnitude earthquake that occurred in Jishishan County, Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu and resulted in serious causalities and infrastructure damage in Gansu and Qinghai, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) today (December 22) approved under the Disaster Relief Fund five disaster relief applications, amounting to total grants of about $33 million, from five organisations.  
     A spokesman for the HKSAR Government said, “The HKSAR Government expresses its deep sympathy to the Mainland compatriots affected by the disaster, and maintains close contact with various rescue organisations regarding relief support. The HKSAR Government has promptly processed in consultation with the Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee the disaster relief funding applications from five organisations under the Disaster Relief Fund, and informed the organisations concerned of the in-principle approval given for grants totalling about $33 million.”
     A list of the organisations with the grants approved is in the Annex. The HKSAR Government will continue close liaison with the organisations to monitor the progress of their implementation of relief projects, so as to help the people affected resume a normal life as soon as possible. The organisations are required to submit evaluation reports and audited accounts on the use of the grants to the Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee after completing the relief projects.
     The spokesman said, “The grants demonstrate the close relationship between Hong Kong and Mainland people, and the spirit of mutual help. The HKSAR Government hopes that the grants will provide appropriate assistance for the Mainland compatriots affected, and help the disaster-stricken areas overcome difficulties and proceed with post-disaster reconstruction.”
     The spokesman stressed, “The HKSAR Government, together with the Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee, will continue to closely monitor the disaster situation and related assistance work, and process any subsequent applications from other organisations to help the people affected by the disaster in a timely manner.”
     The Disaster Relief Fund was established on December 1, 1993, in accordance with the Public Finance Ordinance. It provides the Government with a mechanism to respond to appeals for humanitarian aid in relief of disasters that occur outside Hong Kong.

Finally… Relief from Inflation & Soaring Gas Prices is on the Horizon Pinnacle Freight Slashes Shipping Costs Up to 60%

 Everyone is feeling the “pain at the pump” as gas prices soar to record highs and the cost of household items jumps due to inflation. One of the main reasons we’re paying more for, well, everything, is that rising gas prices are increasing the cost of shipping.

What used to cost $2.00 per mile to ship a pallet across the country now costs over $4.00–an increase of 100 percent since the pandemic began in 2020. For consumers, it feels like they’re being price-gouged at every turn, while businesses are being hit hard by the rising cost of goods and shipping costs.

But one company has a solution… and it’s a serious game changer. Pinnacle Freight Brokers, a small woman/minority-owned company based in Raleigh, NC, that both brokers and offers long haul and expedited shipping services across the U.S., has decided to actually do something to ease the financial burden on shippers and consumers.

Here’s how it normally works: Freight brokers are hired by companies that need to ship products around the country. Their job is to find the cheapest carriers and arrange shipments. Individual brokers are paid on commission, so their incentive is to maximize how much they charge shippers and minimize what they pass on to carriers. An average brokerage fee ranges from 15 to 20 percent, though the numbers can go much higher than that. This translates to higher costs passed onto the company doing the shipping.

Crystal Mwaura, CEO of Pinnacle Freight Brokers, thinks this is unacceptable and unfair. “As a national freight broker, I’ve watched as shipping companies have increased their prices to cover the cost of higher transportation, which is to be expected. What’s not fair, though, is the fact that the increased fees are largely kept by the brokers and not passed down to their drivers or customers.This, in combination with inflation, rising gas prices, and depleted aid from the government, is a recipe for failure for small and large companies alike,” Mwaura said.

Here’s how Pinnacle Freight Brokers is changing the game: Rather than charging companies rates much higher than the actual carrier cost, like other brokers do, Mwaura’s company charges a flat rate of $250 per shipment over the agreed upon carrier rate. This could mean a cost savings of up to 60 percent per shipment for its customers, who can then pass the cost-savings on to consumers.

Not only is Pinnacle Freight Brokers charging much lower shipping fees, it’s offering transparency by providing the confirmed rate the carrier has agreed upon to transport the shipment, plus its $250 flat fee, versus the standard practice of quoting the customer and trying to find the cheapest carrier in order to increase the brokers’ profits.

“Carriers are faced daily with road conditions and hazards that many people take for granted and most are away from their families weeks at a time, which Pinnacle feels deserves a fair rate,” Mwaura said. “By lowering the shipping costs of products, businesses can better afford to pass those savings down to consumers and provide a welcome boost to their own bottom line. Everybody wins.

“When the pandemic first hit, no one knew exactly what to expect and how to pivot. Having been both on the carrier and the brokerage side, I understand how important it is to transport shipments at a nominal cost. However, it’s equally important that we don’t short change the drivers–those who are actually putting their lives on the line to make sure our shelves stay stocked and we have essential items. The only ones who’ve not lost are the brokers that aren’t willing to take a minor hit on profits so everyone can have some relief,” Mwaura explained.

Pinnacle Freight Brokers is offering its new rate with no commitment for 30 days for companies to try out the services and see how much they are saving each month on shipping costs. The best part is customers will receive the same great service at a much lower cost.

For more information about Pinnacle Freight Brokers, please visit their website at www.PinnacleFreightBrokers.com or call 919-926-8598.

Pinnacle Freight Brokers

Crystal Mwaura

919-926-8598 Ext. 104




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