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Freight links in spotlight as island goes days without delivery

Freight links in spotlight as island goes days without delivery

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Freight links in spotlight as island goes days without delivery

Wednesday 17 April 2024


Jersey’s supply chain resilience has been put in the spotlight again after ferry service disruption saw the island go without deliveries for three days.

A “technical issue” put Condor’s Commodore Clipper passenger and freight service between Portsmouth and the Channel Islands out of action on Sunday and Monday, while “operational reasons” cancelled the Islander’s overnight trip between Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Commodore Goodwill is currently in Poole for scheduled maintenance.

Jersey Post explained yesterday that the disruption had meant no post or parcels had arrived on the island since Saturday evening. However, some parcels were due to arrive on Tuesday afternoon with deliveries planned for today.

“These shipping delays mean we’ll have a busy week – but our team are preparing to get your post and parcels processed and delivered as quickly as possible when it arrives,” Jersey Post said.

It follows complaints from some islanders on social media of bare and low-stocked shelves in supermarkets on Tuesday, with several lamenting the loss of the mail plane.

The Royal Mail stopped Jersey’s daily air delivery service last summer, arguing that using a ferry instead of a dedicated daily flight would offer a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly option due to declining volumes of letters. 

At the same time, it also changed definition of next-day delivery, allowing more time for arrival in the Channel Islands.

Jersey Post said it expected minimal disruption as most items, including Amazon parcels, are already delivered by ferry.

Parcel.jpg

Pictured: The mail plane had its final flight last year, with parcels and mail arriving via ferry instead.

Whether or not Condor continues as the island’s main ferry service provider is currently up for discussion, with both Jersey and Guernsey’s governments shopping around for a new deal.

Danish company DFDS says it is considering submitting a bid when a tender is officially published. In December, a berthing trial of one of its vessels was deemed a success by Jersey and Guernsey, which jointly commissioned it.

Christophe Mathieu, the boss of Brittany Ferries and current Interim CEO of Condor after the "immediate" departure of John Napton in February, said Condor was "determined" to win the tender. 

Chrisophe.jpg

Pictured: Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu is also the Interim CEO of Condor.

Ahead of that, berthing trials were carried out in Jersey last week of the company's 157-metre Barfleur passenger ferry, which currently operates daily crossings between Poole and Cherbourg. However, Guernsey's trial, had to be cancelled yesterday due to the weather conditions.

Condor apologised for the inconvenience caused by the Commodore and Islander cancellations in a communication to customers. 

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