Jersey's government has said it considered bailing out a collapsed freight firm, but concluded it would "not be in the public interest".

CI Lines and PDFS has closed with the loss of 42 jobs across Guernsey and Jersey, saying the move was a 'direct result of the impacts of Covid-19 on current and forecast volumes and cash flow'.

We were contacted late on Thursday evening by CI Lines and talks took place on Friday and throughout the weekend. Regrettably, without a viable future, government support would only serve to defer the inevitable closure and loss of jobs which is not in the public interest.

Senator Lyndon Farnham, Jersey's Economic Development minister

The company has confirmed to government that all employees will receive their statutory entitlements.

Senator Farnham added that workers in Jersey will be able to access income support through the Department for Customer and Local Services - and confirmed goods would still be able to get to the islands.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unforeseeable impact on the global economy. Jersey is not immune to the effects. My aspiration remains firm that we do not want to lose any businesses. However, it is sadly inevitable that some businesses will be unable to survive current challenges. I want to reassure Islanders, following the closure of Channel Islands Lines that Jersey’s supply chains remain robust. We are in regular discussions with our freight companies, logistics providers, Condor Ferries and the Ports of Jersey to ensure that Islanders have access to the goods they need, throughout the duration of the pandemic.

Senator Lyndon Farnham, Jersey's Economic Development minister
Paul Davis Freight Services said it saw a 90% drop in demand due to coronavirus. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Guernsey's government has reiterated that it will not be able to save every business.

These freight operators were a key component in supporting our supply chain particularly in relation to moving goods destined for our construction industry, so there will clearly be a knock-on effect for that sector once we are through this difficult period. In the short term, there should be no impact on the supplies of essential goods such as food as the cold food chain is handled through different operators. Our supply chain remains strong for these essentials. The message is clear - I would encourage every business to consider the measures we have put in place in support, including the loan guarantee scheme, grant scheme and payroll co-funding scheme.

Deputy Lyndon Trott, Vice-President of Guernsey's Policy & Resources Committee