European ports are suffering a “perfect storm” from Covid and Brexit as the cost of shipping goods is increasing by up to 300%.
According to Mike Bowden, group marketing manager at logistics and shipping provider Cory Brothers, port congestion and supply chain costs had led in some instances to the price of shipping a container rocketing to $8,000. “Shipping firms have exponentially increased freight rates, with current standard cargo import prices increasing by 200-300%. At the beginning of the year shipping containers were around $1,500 and $1,800, as of today its anything from $6,000 and $8,000 per container.”
Bowden said at the start of Covid a sudden “scale down” of supply chain mechanisms, including air and sea ports, caused a worldwide freight bottleneck. Retailers have expressed concern over product shortages in the run-up to Christmas, as pressure mounts on ports from increased consumer demand and businesses preparing for the end of the Brexit transition period.
Cips.org reports that ports affected include London Gateway, Southampton, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Felixstowe, which is the busiest port in the UK, managing 40% of imports and exports. Its owners have said congestion could last into the new year.