• Andy Benn

Brexit and Covid-19 Shipping rates increase: What does this mean for electrical goods?

Updated: Jan 14, 2021

It has been well documented that shipping rates globally have skyrocketed of late, predominantly blamed on Covid-19 and staffing levels at UK ports. The rates we are seeing are unprecedented, and unfortunately look set to continue to rise rapidly.

Sadly, this is not something the electrical (or indeed any other sector) has control over. This is having a big effect on landing costs for businesses which means pricing remains unstable. The crisis has been fuelled by heavy demand on Chinese imports resulting from Coronavirus, Christmas demand, Chinese New Year and staffing levels at UK ports. Brexit is also being cited as having an impact on the price surge due to complications around customs resulting in some businesses removing themselves from the importing / exporting markets. UK customs post-Brexit are subject to the UK Global Tariff (UKGT).

Shipping from the UK to Europe after Brexit has also become more complex thanks to the pre-trade deal stockpiling, which has left many containers outside warehouses rather than completing further importing journeys. The electrical sector is feeling the ramifications of the shipping rates increase, much like any other sectors often reliant on importing.

Why are shipping rates increasing so vastly?

The crisis has been fuelled by heavy demand on Chinese imports resulting from Coronavirus, Christmas demand, Chinese New Year and staffing levels at UK ports. Most UK ports are also bottlenecked with empty containers resulting in a lack of space to unload incoming vessels. This is causing huge backlogs, and in turn, delays and heavy congestion charges which are then being passed on to us, and other importers. It has also been reported that imports to Felixstowe and Southampton are being hit by carrier congestion charges, further raising prices from these ports.

What does this mean for the cost of Securi-Flex cables?

At Securi-Flex, we pride ourselves on always keeping large volumes of stock available to ensure we have a steady supply of cables for our clients. Throughout 2020 and Covid-19, we coped with very high demands. We have continually planned well in advance to mitigate potential shortages throughout this crisis. Due to the shipping price increase, we regret that we cannot guarantee pricing for a four-week period. It is highly likely that prices will rise again in February, so we recommend getting in touch with your Account Manager as soon as possible if you have an order to place or stock to enquire about.

What is being done to resolve the issues?

Some cargo shipping companies are now using alternative ports to avoid congestion charges and ensure a smoother shipping process from Asia to the UK. The logistics sector has also got in contact with The Department for Transport to help in clearing the backlogs seen at the UK’s ports.

At Securi-Flex we are doing all we can to reduce the impact on our customers, but we urge clients to be as prepared as possible. Please communicate with your Account Manager who will endeavour to update you as the situation progresses. We will keep everyone up-to-date throughout January and we will price all requirements at the time of order.


If you would like to discuss anything related to this article further, then please contact a member of the Securi- Flex team here or by calling 0845 094 0244.

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