WiseTech boss sounds the alarm over shipping costs

Logistics software company WiseTech Global is one of the few beneficiaries of the supply chain crisis, with founder Richard White predicting increased investment in vessels and automation will strengthen the freight industry and its long-term business term.

But Mr White, who reported increased profits, revenue and a dividend for WiseTech on Wednesday, warned that high charges at ports and shipping lines were a problem for the industry, which has been ravaged by coronavirus disruptions over the past two years.

WiseTech Managing Director Richard White is optimistic about the future of the supply chain.Credit:Nathalie Boug

“I think there is a very strong and very global concern that cost changes in international logistics, particularly around ocean carriers, seem problematic and translate into port service charges.

“It’s not really a labor issue with Australia or anywhere else,” Mr White said. “It’s really that service charges at ports have increased dramatically, like hundreds of percent in some cases.

“Many shipping companies have made more money in the past two years than they have made in the past 50 years. This must be a concern for regulators, and it’s not just Australia, it’s everywhere. »

Australia’s Productivity Commission is examining the country’s port system to see if it is holding back the economy.

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Competition would eventually bring prices back to normal as carriers invest in more capacity, White predicted.

More customers signing up to help automate their freight, along with cost reductions, price change, existing customers taking more features and seats in its flagship software product CargoWise led WiseTech to improve its earnings forecast for the full year. It now forecasts growth of between 33 and 43%.

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