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Supply warning as stevedores refuse to load freight

Supply warning as stevedores refuse to load freight

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Supply warning as stevedores refuse to load freight

A freight sailing had to be cancelled over the weekend and Condor is warning of further disruption due to industrial action by Saint Malo stevedores.

According to the ferry operator, Saint Malo Manutention (SMM), which provides all freight and handling services to ferry and shipping operators in the area, refused to load trailers bound for Jersey, Guernsey and Portsmouth without notice on Saturday (23 May).

The difficulty led Condor to cancel its freight service that day - but it is warning there could be more disruption to come.

"The situation is very frustrating for our freight clients and our St Malo team, who are working hard to find alternative arrangements, as it is not the first time services have been disrupted," Condor's Executive Director of Operations, Elwyn Dop, commented.

"Over the past three years, we have seen numerous examples of such unnecessary industrial action by the stevedores which has led us to delay or cancel freight and passenger sailings."

Condor is currently only providing freight services in the Channel Islands.


Pictured: The industrial action in Saint Malo reportedly occurred without prior warning.

Although Jersey's government has not released a date for travel restrictions to ease further, Condor said last week that it had planned three services between Saint Malo and Jersey on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with another two between the UK and Jersey on Saturdays and Mondays.

But that idea was dealt a Ministerial blow by Assistant Treasury Minister Senator Ian Gorst who said that border controls would not allow it.

Despite this, Condor this afternoon reaffirmed its determination to resume passenger operations to Jersey from Saint Malo as soon as possible, adding that it hoped to put on some sailings later in summer to Guernsey.

Mr Dop added: "We are naturally very keen to restart sailings so we can support the inbound tourism market and provide travel options for Islanders. We can only hope that no further industrial action is forthcoming."

Pictured top: The Commodore Goodwill, which operates a year-round service to and from Saint Malo.

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