'Condor Squeezed From All Angles' Following 19% Price Rise

Above-inflation increases in shipping costs is 'terrible news for island businesses', according to Jersey's Chamber of Commerce.

Condor wants to bring in a near 19% increase in their freight prices.

Jersey's Economic Development Minister Deputy Kirsten Morel has asked it to justify the level of the increase.

"The Channel Islands depend upon our sea links, and ensuring their continued resilience is essential. RPI price rises reflect the cost increases which everyone is facing, and would be expected, but I find it hard to see the justification for price rises which are so significantly above RPI."

Jersey's Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Murray Norton says the higher cost of bring goods to the islands will have a 'massive effect' on businesses.

"They are already under a great deal of stress because they have had high inflation for some time and lower footfall in some cases.

We have already seen a lot of businesses closing and we don't want to see this exacerbated by even higher prices to bring materials into the islands, so this is not good news."

Mr Norton says the Chamber has warned of increases like this for some time.

"I think it's important that the governments in both Jersey and Guernsey look at the price rises that they have brought in. We consistently said that large rises in the minimum wage would have an effect.

The accumulative effect of a 15.5% rise in minimum wages in Jersey, Guernsey and the UK has brought that in effect. So some of that responsibility of price rises and ports rises lie with the governments."

He says Condor will feel like it's being squeezed from all sides.

"I'm sure they will be the first to point to the minimum wage rises. In Jersey, the Ports have put their charges up by inflation plus one percent. 

In Guernsey, port charges have jumped by 14%."

All of these price rises have pointed to one essential service that we all rely on, and that is the shipping of goods to our islands.  That means we are going to have higher costs for everybody, and that is not good at all."

Condor has told us a statement will be issued soon.

Guernsey's Chamber of Commerce says it's not in a position to comment, but Economic Development committee President Deputy Neil Inder issued this statement:

“We hear loud and clear the concerns of businesses working in the supply chain about increasing costs and we’re engaging with Condor on this matter, with the aim of ensuring that any increases that are implemented are essential, affordable and proportionate."

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