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Australian watchdog investigating shipping cost price-hike

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Australia’s consumer watchdog has opened up an investigation into the dramatic rise in global shipping and container costs following the pandemic

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission confirmed it has opened the inquiry, particularly focusing on the sharp rise on the price and movement of shipping containers.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims says he is aware of what is going on within the shipping industry and “is investigating it.”

“There is a limited amount I can say on it, but we are looking at the freight system – particularly the role that containers play, I can certainly say that, and that is certainly on the list of investigations”

The costs of shipping containers have risen more than 300 per cent in the last year, with steeper prices crunching retailer profit margins.

Shipping containers costs have risen more than 300 per cent in the last year, with steeper prices crunching retailer profit margins.

The shortage of containers

The insufficient supply of container ships has been blamed on supply chain disruptions caused by COVID and recent virus outbreaks at key ports in China.

But many Australian business executives say that they believe the container shortage is “partially artificial” and that the industry is just playing on the excuse as a reason to squeeze higher prices.

The massive steel containers piled onto ships are vital for the international movement of goods.

The skyrocketing cost of shipping containers that bring everything from sneakers and sofas to washing machines to Australia has ratcheted up costs for importers – especially the retail sector, which has shaved its profit margins.

RBA responds to shipping crisis

Reserve Bank of Australia responds

The economic impact has also reached the attention of the Reserve Bank.

In its May statement on monetary policy, the RBA reported on a five-fold increase in shipping container prices since 2019.

The RBA stated that the lack of shipping containers had resulted in sharp increases in global shipping prices and also contributed delivery delays.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

Business

This move is set to boost Australia’s crypto gains

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Coinbase is coming down under, in a major boost for the country’s crypto gains

The crypto platform is calling the country “a priority market”.

It will add its local payments platform so Australians can transfer dollars into their Coinbase account.

There will also be advanced trading tools and better pricing.

Users will also receive 24 hour support, where they can ask all about their accounts and concerns.

The exchange is registered with a local regulator to provide its digital currency exchange services.

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TikTok’s parent company loses $7bn

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TikTok’s Parent company sees losses grow as it tries to outplay Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has experienced a loss of more than $7 billion dollars in operating costs, tripling last year’s records.

The company attributes the huge loss to its massive investment in global growth. It detailed the results in a financial report which was provided to internal stakeholders.

In the first quarter of 2022, the company recorded a profit in its operating costs, with the company’s revenue expanding by more than 80% to $61.7 billion in 2021.

But expenses that are focused on expanding its products worldwide continue to swell at a rapid rate.

While TikTok is one of ByteDance’s most successful and well-known products, the company owns a wide range of digital platforms including: Douyin, Toutiao, Vigo Video, Helo, Lark and BytePlus. In total, it attracts hundreds of millions of users in China alone and 1 billion TikTok users worldwide.

The internal report was emailed to all ByteDance’s 130,000 employees. In a note of assurance, company execs “remain confident in the strength of our business and organisation.”

The ability for ByteDance to continue to invest in the company’s growth is clearly a strong advantage the company has over its competitors in the market.

A new report found Australians spent more time on TikTok in the last 12 months than on Facebook, a leader for many years in the space.

With other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube scrambling to compete with TikTok, it seems ByteDance must have a long-term expansion strategy in mind.

The company is evidently trying to arrive at a place where such massive losses relating to operating will be a distant memory.

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Business

How to score one of 500,000 free airline tickets up for grabs

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Virgin Atlantic has made the controversial decision to stop operating in Hong Kong

It says the war in Ukraine and restricted air space are the reasons behind the change.

Customers will be offered a refund if they wish.

The war in Ukraine has caused many airlines to pause routes because of safety concerns.

It comes as Hong Kong is set to give away 500,000 airline tickets as it looks to bring tourists back after the pandemic.

The major deal is part of the city’s push to bring life back to the city, which has been under strict COVID measures for much of the last two years.

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