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Shipping lines holding industry to ransom says MD


The head of one of the UK’s leading suppliers of fly fishing tackle has laid bare the ‘excessive’ price increases and shipping surcharges hitting industries across the globe.

Russell Weston, Managing Director of Snowbee (UK), has called the situation the biggest issue facing the fishing tackle trade. He told Angling International: “It has been driven by the on-going COVID situation in China, which has seriously affected the supply chain and cost of raw materials, together with a massive up-tick in consumer demand worldwide.

“To put it into perspective, in late 2019-early 2020, a 20ft container was costing us around £1,650 door-to-door. The same container is now costing around £9,500.

“As with any market economy, costs are driven by supply and demand, and as a result the shipping lines are cashing in big time. A recent report on the top 11 worldwide shipping lines showed them all making record profits in the last quarter. When I asked the manager of our freight forwarders how long these surcharges would remain, his answer was as long as people are prepared to pay them.

“It would seem that the shipping lines have us over a barrel and we have a simple choice – pay up or have no stock. The shipping lines are well aware of this and are effectively holding us up to ransom.”

Weston added that he had ‘rattled cages’ of senior UK politicians and business forums to no avail. “This affects every single imported consumer good coming into the UK so the Government’s forecast of four to five percent inflation is way off the mark – I believe double that is closer. 

“This issue is going to impact the tackle trade in a very big way this year.”

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