Spiralling shipping costs fire up prices from coffee to toys

World

Spiralling shipping costs fire up prices from coffee to toys

Transporting a 12-metre container by sea is now 547% higher than the seasonal average over the last five years

Alex Longley, Catherine Bosley and Deirdre Hipwell

The skyrocketing price of shipping goods across the globe may hit your wallet sooner than you think — from that cup of coffee you get each morning, to the toys you were thinking of buying your children.

Transporting a 12m steel container of cargo by sea from Shanghai to Rotterdam now costs a record $10,522 (R144,266), a whopping 547% higher than the seasonal average over the last five years, according to Drewry Shipping. With upwards of 80% of all goods trade transported by sea, freight-cost surges are threatening to boost the price of everything from toys, furniture and car parts to coffee, sugar and anchovies, compounding concerns in global markets already bracing for accelerating inflation.

“In 40 years in toy retailing I have never known such challenging conditions from the point of view of pricing,” said Gary Grant, the founder and executive chair of the UK toy shop The Entertainer. He has had to stop importing giant teddy bears from China because their retail price would have had to double to add in higher freight costs. “Will this have an impact on retail prices? My answer has to be yes.”..

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