Rising Freight Costs To Drive Prices Up For Imported Goods?

Consumers may see a hike in prices for imported goods in the near future, as a result of soaring freight costs and congestion charges being added by carriers on imports to Southampton and Felixstowe due to severe delays.

According to the BBC, global shipping schedules saw initial disruption at the start of the pandemic but a rise in demand for imports and a backlog of shipping containers are seeing UK ports having to deal with bottlenecks at the moment.

Representatives of the UK’s logistics, shipping and ports sectors have now written to Grant Shapps, transport secretary, calling on the government to take further steps to try and improve the situation.

Chief executive of the UK Major Ports Group Tim Morris said that the government could consider ways to increase the capacity for moving containers on and off ports, adding: “That could mean running more and longer trains to and from ports, allowing hauliers more flexibility to collect containers out of normal hours, and for drivers to take on longer shifts where that can be done safely.”

The letter also warned that further potential disruption could be seen when the Brexit transition period comes to an end on December 31st.

Long queues are now being seen at both French and UK ports, with chief executive of the British Ports Association Richard Ballantyne saying that a big increase in traffic is now being seen, as a result of a global rise in container movements, an increase in the movement of goods ahead of the Brexit deadline and the busy pre-Christmas period.

He explained that this is putting pressure on both the storage and logistics sectors in the UK and overseas, but the wider ports industry is still managing.

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