Shipping and supply chain issues have affected everyone in the recent months, whether you are an end consumer or a business importing and exporting goods and of course in the months and weeks leading up to Christmas these issues will be highlighted even further.
Obviously one of the main catalysts for these issues has been the COVID 19 pandemic, as the whole world came as a standstill and almost all cross-border trade was put on hold, as we watched the virus play out from our homes back in March 2020. Due to that sudden halt in trade there were inevitable backlogs from the UK’s main suppliers such as China and the US, and in turn these delays caused a huge surge in requirements for shipping containers, which of course drove up the price due to supply and demand. Some executives in freight services companies have been saying that they’ve seen prices for containers from mainland China triple or even quadruple with some companies charging more than £9,000 for a 40ft container from China to northern Europe. Ultimately these costs are passed back to the consumer, making goods more expensive which is not ideal in the lead up to Christmas which is already an expensive time of year.
One of the other main factors that has affected the UK’s shipping and supply chain is Brexit and the political relations throughout the European union. Although Great Britain’s departure from the European union may have been overshadowed by the arrival of COVID 19, it has still had long lasting effects on our economy and our country’s supply chain. Many of our goods are sourced from Europe including most of our food and beverages, and a lot of our electrical products so only naturally when our major trade routes were affected this then caused companies to investigate alternative shipping routes and strategies due to them either looking further afield to Asia and the Americas or the prices being driven up because of demand in Europe, and once again these costs are being passed back to the consumer.
So where does Ocean Capital and foreign exchange come into all of this? Of course, we come across shipping issues as a day-to-day objection that our clients are facing. Many clients have no other options but to pay the inflated prices to keep their business’s trading, so of course it is vital that our service must stay efficient and cost effective to ensure that the exchange of currency that they receive is at the market’s best rates, but in addition we try to add extensive value and have built several relationships and partnerships with people within the industry to not only keep up with current affairs on the topic but also to provide strategies for our clients to explore ways to streamline their costs.