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Pressure builds on Condor as Jersey Post slams "ongoing service failures"

Pressure builds on Condor as Jersey Post slams

Tuesday 05 December 2023

Pressure builds on Condor as Jersey Post slams "ongoing service failures"

Tuesday 05 December 2023


Jersey Post has slammed Condor's "frequent and ongoing service failures" as concerns over the ferry company's proposed freight price increases of almost 19% – which it is still yet to make public comment on – continue to mount.

The postal company made the critical comments this morning, going on to pledge to "absorb much of this increase so that we can reduce the effect of price increases for Jersey consumers".

News that Condor had proposed a rise of 18.76% emerged last week, sending shockwaves through the local business community and sparking a round of urgent discussions between Government officials, the Chamber of Commerce and Condor's CEO, John Napton. 

Condor were contacted by Express for comment on Friday morning, but are still yet to issue any formal response.

Last night, Economic Development Kirsten Morel said that he "find[s] it hard to see the justification for price rises which are so significantly above" inflation levels, which sat at just under 9% in September.

"I am asking Condor to justify those price increases, and whether there are alternative approaches," he added.

Kirsten Morel.JPG

Pictured: The Minister for Sustainable Economic Development, Deputy Kirsten Morel.

This morning, Jersey Post echoed the criticism of Condor.

“Jersey Post is a major user of Condor’s services, moving almost 2,000 pallets a week, so any impact on our costs is unwelcome," the company said.

"This increase comes on top of frequent and ongoing service failures by Condor who cancel or change sailings with no notice or communication. 

"Condor’s performance (outside periods of bad weather) also has a direct impact on our ability to deploy labour efficiently which feeds through into our own costs. 

"However, we are conscious of the intense financial pressures our customers are experiencing and have taken the decision to absorb much of this increase so that we can reduce the effect of price increases for Jersey consumers.”

Condor freight.jpg

Pictured: "This increase comes on top of frequent and ongoing service failures by Condor who cancel or change sailings with no notice or communication."

Condor's proposed freight increase was revealed in an email sent to Ferryspeed and Profreight customers at the end of last week seen by Express.

In the email, the sister companies outlined plans to increase their pricing from January by 8.76% based on September RPI indices of UK, Jersey and Guernsey.

However, they revealed that Condor is intending to increase prices by inflation plus 10%, resulting in a total increase of 18.76% from 1 January 2024. 

"As you will appreciate, this level of price rise is unprecedented and, if implemented, will have an impact on our operating costs that will not be covered by the 8.76% inflation linked increase referenced above," said Ferryspeed and Profreight.

The companies therefore explained that they "reserve the right to further raise prices beyond the 8.76% noted above depending upon the outcome of our discussions with Condor".

They added: "We have not, as yet, accepted Condor’s proposal and, instead, have raised the impact such an extraordinary increase would have on our customers and have asked them to explain the rationale behind their proposal."

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.

READ MORE...

Condor silent as Minister demands "justification" for freight price hike

Retailers rattled by "brutal" freight increase proposals

Providing more day trips to be part of Condor service level talks

ANALYSIS: Jersey and Condor in talks as agreement 'wind down' begins

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