FREIGHT COSTS – VIRTU MAINTAINS PRICE AGAINST THE TREND.
Malta’s leading commercial undertakings and economists are forecasting an increase in the price of most commodities, food and daily needs included, largely due to the worldwide increase in freight charges and other factors, including COVID. Food has been particularly affected, raising at the highest rate in the last four years and not likely to start falling before October 2022, with supermarkets estimating a 15% increase across the board. In one case it was reported that the freight costs of a container, previously at between Euro 2,000 to 3,000, has now shot up to Euro 17,000 resulting in a 500% increase in the price of certain commodities.
Virtu Ferries, firmly against the world trend, has maintained freight costs at pre-COVID levels. Furthermore, in order to assist SME, Virtu has actually lowered freight cost for small and medium sized commercial vehicles by introduced favourable schemes to assist emerging enterprises.
Importers, sourcing products from Italy and in particular Sicily, have not seen an increase in freight charges. Retailers are taking full advantage of the Virtu offers switching to stocking up from Sicily to reduce their cost of carriage. Hotels and restaurants are resorting to importation from Sicily to counter the local increase in prices of food products.
Virtu Ferries are now operating two vessels with daily voyages at convenient timing, multiple times in the week. Voyage frequency is of particular importance to importers, it allows for warehousing, at no cost in Sicily, and importation of frequent minimum orders reducing financial costs. Cutting costs in the current situation is essential for repositioning post COVID.