(WKBN) — Rising costs, shipping delays and mergers are some of the issues hitting monument companies — and as a result, local businesses.
From the pandemic to quarries closing, businesses that make monuments for grave sites are having trouble getting granite.
“In this industry, then we’re not being able to fulfill a container, which is 40,000 to 50,000 pounds so that container gets left behind,” said Carly Brock with Richardson’s Monuments.
Some containers also aren’t being unloaded when they make it to port.
“That also affects because there aren’t any empty containers so there’s no place to fill these containers with our own product,” Brock said.
Granite is sourced both in the United States and in other countries, but these companies are also having issues getting it domestically.
“They’re having a hard time getting truckers to come down for the shipping. The supply is there so that can’t be an issue. It’s right there in the ground, you just got to dig it out,” said Eric Beight, owner of OT Beight & Sons.
A few local granite countertop companies said they aren’t seeing a shortage. A lot of that has to do with the thickness of the granite. A countertop is thinner than a monument so their supply will last longer. The quality of the granite also affects availability.
“There’s a difference between monument-grade and building-grade, which is what they are. There’s a lot more building-grade granites out there, but monument-grade you have to be a little bit more premium. There’s a lot more waste out of a block, it’s hard to get a premium granite,” Beight said.
They said it would take between four to eight months to get a monument if it has to be ordered. It’s been difficult for companies when they try to help people who have lost a loved one.