This was denounced yesterday from the Association of International Forwarding and Assimilated Shippers Entrepreneurs (Ateia), which in the Canary Islands has organizations in both provinces -Ateia-Oltra Las Palmas and Ateia-Oltra Tenerife- that harmonize the interests of some 70 firms in the Autonomous Community .
For the container that was paid 1,100 euros until now, now around 1,400 is paid
The trade of half the world is suffering the consequences, either having to pay exorbitant prices or renouncing the import of all or part of the planned merchandise, of the collapse of international maritime transport. But in the Canary Islands, where, due to its archipelago status, the vast majority of products enter or leave the Atlantic, the situation is even more problematic for businesses, especially at the threshold of Christmas, the high season for commerce. The dilemma is to collect merchandise as much as possible, with the risk of ending up buying more products than those that end up being sold and assuming an extra cost in many cases impossible to assimilate, or to warn customers that in the next campaign Christmas is not going to be for sale all the toys, clothes or accessories that they want to give away. And with trade, freight forwarders also suffer, which are responsible for organizing everything necessary for the entry and exit of these freight containers.
“I do not want to be alarmist, but the situation is worse than you think,” said yesterday Darío Hernández Luis, president of the Tenerife division of Ateia-Oltra. The risk of shortages, especially of products from the Asian continent – in Asia, especially in China, tens of thousands of containers are confiscated for the storage of the Asian giant, which together with the rise in the prices of raw materials and the Global shortage of components such as microchips has sent freights to record highs – it has been around for a long time, but if the price hike also occurs on domestic routes, the situation is almost unsustainable. In fact, Hernández Luis explained that one is not yet fully aware of the situation, and whoever is, is paying the consequences.
Darío Hernández: “I don’t want to be an alarmist, but the situation is worse than you think”
In this sense, the businessman explained that the only way to bring goods is to pay for the containers in advance. Or rather to overpay them, because what used to cost $ 800 today costs 8,000, ten times more. And there are cases where the increase is even greater. An international chaos to which we now add, in the case of the Canary Islands, the increases in freight rates for shipping companies that cover national routes. A rise to which freight forwarding firms do not find sense.
The president of Ateia Tenerife explained that the legal services of the organization have already got down to work to see why this generalized price increase is taking place and, if it is the case, denounce possible anti-competition practices or a price pact of shipping companies. The businessman asserted that at the moment the rising costs for freight forwarders, especially for those that subcontract certain services, forces them to transfer them to customers without any other possibility. It should be borne in mind that in many cases the containers have to be paid in advance, money that is sometimes put in by freight forwarders and then passed on to the customer. The whole chain is thus affected.
Among the sectors most affected by the shortage of products at Christmas are textiles, electronics and toy stores, that is, three activities that make their particular August in the last month of the year.