Price rises 'new normal' Ipswich boss warns, and more price hikes to come
- Credit: MIKE BOWDEN/CORY BROTHERS/JAMES BEDFORD/ADNAMS/SARAH LUCY BROWN
Increased prices are the "new normal" an Ipswich boss has warned, as further price hikes are expected later this year.
Peter Wilson, boss of freight forwarding firm Cory Brothers, said the company had seen the cost of shipping goods rising staggeringly.
Two years ago, big firms like supermarkets might have been paying $1,200 to ship a container of goods from China to the UK, he said.
Now they are paying sums nearer $10,000.
And these costs are being passed on to the everyday consumer.
"Life is going to cost more," he said. "The price rises might soften but it's never going to reduce. I believe we're entering a new normal and things will cost a bit more."
Earlier this month the Office for National Statistics announced that inflation — how quickly the prices of everyday goods are rising — had jumped to a near 30-year high of 5.4% in December.
- 1 Long delays on A14 near Ipswich after police called to hole in the road
- 2 Mercedes and Vauxhall flip over after crash in busy Ipswich road
- 3 Ipswich residents' frustration over parking chaos
- 4 Suffolk's top 10 fish and chip shops as voted by our readers - now pick a winner
- 5 Girl, 15, followed by man while walking dog in village near Ipswich
- 6 'Severe' delays on A12 outside Ipswich after crash closes road
- 7 Warehousing units take shape at Ipswich as demand rockets
- 8 Tributes to Ipswich's 'Mr Buses'
- 9 Tree works to begin after residents left 'fed up' for two years
- 10 7 of the best Chinese restaurants with delivery in Ipswich
The price rises are chiefly being driven by problems in the supply chain throughout the pandemic and the cost of energy increasing rapidly.
In 2021 wholesale gas prices shot up by about 500%.
And three-quarters of people expect the situation to get worse. Pollsters Ipsos Mori found that 75% of people expect to see the cost of the energy they use increase this year, including 49% who expect the bills to increase “a lot”.
Think-tank The Resolution Foundation worked out that each household can expect its outgoings to increase by £1,200 this year.
Mr Wilson said he believed the main driver for the cost of shipping increasing was the increased amount of stuff people were buying during the pandemic when they were unable to go abroad on holiday.
"Consumer demand was the catalyst," he said. "It has caused prices to increase in other areas because nobody was able to get out of the door."
Other bits of the economy are also being hit by the price increases.
One of them is the hospitality sector.
Nick Attfield, director of properties at pub chain Adnams, said the firm was feeling the pinch.
"If you average out the period from 2020 to 2022 our prices are up 15%," he said.
"This is not a greed thing. We need that additional revenue to cover the increased costs.
"Not only of the product, but of all the other bits that go into the product — from staffing to cleaning chemicals and whatever else."