Packaging businesses are facing increased costs as soaring shipping charges send prices of many consumables, including board and labelstock, up again.

The country’s largest distributor of printable materials, Ball & Doggett, has just introduced another range of rises across its products, with Spicers set to increase its prices "imminently", and others sure to follow.

Shipping is becoming a major issue for the local economy, as capacity is constrained, and availability is dictated by spot pricing, which does not favour Australia or New Zealand. In recent weeks US traders have been outbidding everyone else, sending a significant amount of shipping capacity that would have come here over to the States instead.

Freight costs have risen by double digit percentages in just the past month, on what were already sky-high prices that have doubled, tripled or quadrupled over the past year. Local merchants are having to pay at least $3000 or $4000 more for their containers this year than they were a year ago.

Tony Bertrand, marketing manager at Ball & Doggett said, "US companies are paying top dollar, which is causing vessels to be diverted from coming from Singapore to Australia over to the States."

David Martin, CEO at Spicers, said, "It's hard to keep up with changing prices, but we can't see them going down anytime soon, rather they look set to keep rising."

Food & Drink Business

The Australian Food Pact is the latest addition to the arsenal of projects and R&D working to halve the country’s food waste by 2030. Simplot Australia, Woolworths Group, Goodman Fielder and Coles Group are four of the founding signatories, joined by Mars Australia, Mondelēz Australia, ARECO Pacific, and McCain Foods.

With the removal of restrictions across states and transitioning into a COVID-19 norm, Woolworths has announced all team members must be vaccinated in the coming months to keep working.

Asahi Beverages has expanded its initiative to buy barley direct from farmers, with seven New South Wales growers now supplying the company’s Yatala brewery in Queensland.