Australian consumer watchdog launches survey on rising shipping costs


Australian Consumer Watchdog has begun investigating the sharp rise in Australian shipping and container costs. As a result, prices are starting to rise in the retail sector.

Rod Sims Chairman of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) Said Australians say the survey will focus on container prices and movements.

“We are aware of what is happening in the container and are investigating it,” Sims said. “I can say only a limited amount, but we are looking at the role that freight systems, especially containers, play. That’s true. It’s certainly on the list of surveys.”

Soaring shipping costs are putting pressure on Australian importers by lowering profit margins, beginning to pass on shipping costs to consumers to retailers such as Breville, and creating inflationary pressure.

The shortage of containers has been attributed to supply chain disruptions at major ports in China that were partially or completely closed due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

NS Freightos Baltic Dry IndexShows the market rate for 40 feet or equivalent containers, showing a dramatic increase in price compared to last year, more than five times higher.

However, there are some concerns that anti-competitive behavior, in which prices are being artificially raised, is also causing the shortfall. This is another concern that will be considered in the ACCC survey.

“I’m not going to associate it with any particular accusation … but certainly we are aware of many complaints about containers and are investigating them,” Sims said.

Super Retail Group, which operates brands such as Supercheap Auto and Rebel, said retailers were forced to order inventory up to 12 months in advance.

“But even if you buy it eight to twelve months later, you’re unlikely to arrive on time,” said Super Retail Group CEO. Anthony Herati said Age. “If you’re not in the hut or shelf today, I think it’s possible this Christmas. [in stock] The peak hours are incredibly far. “

The Reserve Bank of Australia has also addressed tense global supply chain issues, primarily caused by a global shortage of shipping containers. May statement..

They found that manufacturing, retail and wholesale were most affected by supply chain issues.

Rebecca Chu