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Government not consulted about Condor's 19% price hike, claims Minister

Government not consulted about Condor's 19% price hike, claims Minister

Tuesday 12 December 2023

Government not consulted about Condor's 19% price hike, claims Minister

Tuesday 12 December 2023

Condor did not consult with the Government before announcing plans to raise freight costs by 19% from January, according to the Economic Development Minister.

When quizzed by States Members yesterday about the ferry company's proposed price hike – which threatens to drive up the price of essential goods – Deputy Kirsten Morel said: "We live in a high inflationary environment.

"I was deeply concerned to read about the large increase in shipping freight prices and I have written to the Chief Executive [John Napton] demanding a justification."

Deputy Morel cautioned that, while prices continued to increase, Jersey's rate of inflation had fallen to 10.1% during the 12 months to September – a 0.8% drop from June’s rate of 10.9%.

Condor freight.jpg

Pictured: Condor outlined plans to increase freight prices by inflation plus 10%, resulting in a total increase of 18.76% from 1 January 2024. 

Former Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham asked Deputy Morel whether the ferry firm had consulted his team before announcing the proposed increase.

Deputy Morel said Condor had not, and highlighted that he had written to Mr Napton.

The proposed price increase emerged in an email sent to Ferryspeed and Profreight customers at the beginning of the month.

This was quickly followed by backlash from the business community, who voiced concerns about the impact on customers.

Condor signed an agreement with Jersey’s Harbourmaster in 2014 which, in essence, gave the company an exclusive ramp licence to run Roll-on, Roll-off services in return for a guaranteed level of service, including types of vessels, pricing and timetables.

The decade-long agreement does not prohibit other operators entering the market, but they would have to provide the same level of service as that set out in its 80 pages – setting a high barrier to overcome.

The current 10-year deal between the Government and Condor is in its ‘winding down’ phase, with a new agreement on such matters as capacity and frequency due to be signed before July 2025.

Deputy Morel added that he intended to get "the best possible ferry service for our island".


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