Saturday 18 May 2024
Select a region
News

Timing of Condor increases "could not be worse" for fuel companies

Timing of Condor increases

Wednesday 06 December 2023

Timing of Condor increases "could not be worse" for fuel companies

Wednesday 06 December 2023


Condor's proposed freight price hikes won't just hit islanders when they shop – they'll also be forced to fork out more when they fill their cars and heat their homes, according to a local fuel company boss.

ATF Director Jon Best told Express the timing of Condor's proposed increases of almost 19% "could not be worse" for the fuel industry.

He explained that that the sector is also trying to contend with the increase of 7p on a litre of fuel proposed in the the draft Government Plan 2024-2027.

If approved, that increase would come into effect on 1 January 2024 – the same day as Condor's proposed 18.76% price rise.

"The timing couldn't be worse," said Mr Best.

Jonathon_Best_ATF_Fuels_2.jpg

Pictured: Jonathan Best, Director of ATF Fuels, described Condor's justification of the proposed freight tariff rise of 18.76% as "wooly".

The ATF Fuels Director said that he wrote to Condor 12 days ago when he found out about the proposed freight tariffs, but is still yet to receive a response.

He is calling for "full disclosure and "full transparency" from the ferry company for the above-RPI increases, but described Condor's communications as "poor and non-existent".

"If these above inflationary costs are real, then show it," he challenged Condor.

Condor freight.jpg

Pictured: Jersey Post said that Condor's proposed "increase comes on top of frequent and ongoing service failures by Condor who cancel or change sailings with no notice or communication".

Mr Best said he can "fully back-up the lack of service provided wholly by Condor" which was outlined by Jersey Post earlier this week.

The postal company yesterday slammed Condor's "frequent and ongoing service failures", and pledged to "absorb much of this increase so that we can reduce the effect of price increases for Jersey consumers".

In the fuel industry, Mr Best said that Condor's cost increases "will be felt by customers just trying to fill their cars or heat their homes".

ATF Fuels also supplies fuel for logistics firms, which means that consumers will see price rises on items delivered by these companies – for example, food delivered to supermarkets by logistics firms.

Kirsten Morel.JPG

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

Economic Development Kirsten Morel said earlier this week 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.

Following Condor's statement last night – in which the ferry company claimed that they "have been subjected to significantly above-inflation rises in some port costs and other fees". While the Government declined to comment further, Mr Best said he felt Condor's response was "woolly".

What factors could be behind the rise?

Ports of Jersey recently announced an 11.1% rise in fees at the Harbour and the Airport in the new year.

This is the maximum amount that Ports can increase its fees by – Jersey's recently published 10.1% inflation rate plus 1% – under rules set by local competition watchdog the Jersey Competition Regulations Authority.

However, Guernsey Ports has announced a proposed increase in mooring fees between 12 and 45% depending on the size of the vessel.

The company blamed the pressure after four years of losses triggered by covid and a drop in visitor numbers. It is forecasting a loss of £6million this year and is looking to mitigate this with various increases to port charges.

Breaking a five-day silence, Condor Ferries CEO John Napton yesterday said: “We have absorbed cost increases from suppliers over the past three years to minimise the impact on our own customers, but latterly have been subjected to significantly above-inflation rises in some port costs and other fees, which in some cases are between 18% to 35%, along with minimum and living wage increases.

“As with many other businesses, our financial situation was impacted during the pandemic period and during that time we continued to maintain the supply of essential food and medicines to the islands."

John-Napton-01-16-9.jpg

Pictured: Condor Ferries CEO, John Napton.

He continued: “We are notifying logistics clients of an increase in charges, which is obviously regrettable but having kept our charges low for the past three years, the rising costs mean we now have no choice but to pass these on.

“The adjustment in our freight tariff is one part of the overall costs of the distribution network from the UK and, in real terms, represents a much smaller uplift in end-consumer retail prices as a result of Condor’s shipping rates being passed through the supply chain.”

Ports of Jersey announced an 11.1% rise in fees at the Harbour and the Airport in the new year.

This is the maximum amount that Ports can increase its fees by – Jersey's recently published 10.1% inflation rate plus 1% – under rules set by local competition watchdog the Jersey Competition Regulations Authority.

READ MORE...

Condor claims there is "no choice" over freight price hike

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

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

Sign up to newsletter

 

Comments

Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?