Family Christmas can be significantly more costly this year as the costs associated with transporting toys are set to skyrocket amid delays and shortages in all parts of the transportation process.
Joel Berkowitz, director of the London Toy Company, said: PA news Families could see prices for Christmas gifts soar this year as businesses need to factor shipping costs up to eight times higher than normal into consumer prices.
“This year’s Christmas toys will be more expensive, and only if they are in stock,” Berkowitz said.
“We are heavily affected by the shortage. We have a client who wants to order now and can’t deliver.
“One of our customers is Amazon and they placed a lot of orders this morning but it’s killing our business because we can’t fulfill it. It’s a complete mess. . “
The problem begins at ports in manufacturing countries such as China, where the supply of empty shipping containers is very limited. This is due to people in the toy industry closing trade globally during the coronavirus pandemic.
They say that shipping containers currently have a waiting time of about three weeks, and when they become available, shipping costs have increased dramatically.
“We bring in about 30 containers each year, which has cost around £ 30,000 so far,” Berkowitz said. “It will cost £ 150,000 this year, and maybe more.”
“Then, even when they arrive here, we estimate that there will be a three-week delay in the truck carrying it from the port to our warehouse. This is the shipping process. It’s the reaction of the whole chain that affects every part, and it only gets worse. “
He said these processes would increase the price consumers pay for toys and pointed out an electric underground train set to be launched at the London Transport Museum later this year. He said toys are likely to be around £ 50 instead of the originally planned £ 35 to £ 40.
Berkowitz called on the UK Government to help with a “serious discussion” about the shipping process and the companies that carry it out. He says this is called a “cartel”.
He added that the government should allow port workers and HGV drivers from Europe to work freely in the United Kingdom.
Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, the founder and owner of UK-based WOW Toys, reflected Berkowitz’s feelings. He states: “We’ve been doing this for 25 years and the current situation is totally unprecedented, which means that retail prices for toys have skyrocketed since Christmas this year.
He said the situation for HGV drivers was a UK issue, but everything else was a global issue. The biggest problem is the route he said, “run by a few companies such as Cosco and Maersk, who have raised prices significantly because they have completely free sovereignty.”
“Our container cost about $ 2,300, but now it’s $ 20,000, and that will result in major inflation problems around the world.
“I don’t understand why governments, including the UK, don’t put pressure on them,” Ednan-Laperouse added.
The news of rising toy prices comes from major supermarket chains warning that Christmas could be “cancelled” due to a shortage of holiday food due to a shortage of heavy truck drivers.
Icelandic Managing Director Richard Walker told BBC Radio 4 Today’s program His grocery store is already suffering from a shortage of grocery and beverage products due to a continuing shortage of truck drivers that could last until Christmas, and is in short supply nationwide. ..
Walker admitted that Brexit was the cause of the shortage, but he said: I’m not saying that’s the inevitable result of Brexit.
“This is because the government is unaware of the importance of HGV drivers and the work they are doing for us.
“These HGV drivers have been showing on public roads for 18 months during the pandemic. It’s a crime that we don’t consider them skilled workers.”
Walker urged the government to add HGV lorry drivers to the mandatory and skilled workers list to make it easier for these workers from abroad to obtain UK visas.