Kenneth Cobonpue: Soaring shipping costs shrinking exporters’ profits

Even a world-renowned craftsman like Kenneth Cobonpue is not spared from the disruption in global trade with high fuel costs and limited shipping options.

The Cebu City-born furniture designer told One News’ The Chiefs that his business has been affected by the skyrocketing cost of cargo shipments, which is crucial for sending his designer pieces globally.

“The problem now, in terms of export, the shipping logistics is a big problem. Before a 40-footer from Cebu to LA used to cost $3,000. Now, the price is anywhere from $15,000 to $18,000,” Cobonpue said. “That price really wipes out all the margins, that’s the problem with export.”

He added that even if he’s willing to pay, it’s hard to book containers for shipments.

“I really think it’s artificial. All the shipping companies have consolidated so now, Pres. Biden explained it very well — there’s only 3 big shipping companies left so it’s like a monopoly in the shipping industry because the shipping industry has recorded,” Cobonpue pointed out, referring to the US president.

“There should be no problem with trade but the shipping prices are still high and now, they blame it on fuel. That’s the problem for our exporters,” he added.