Businesses warned of 'unprecedented' rise to Channel Islands shipping costs

Businesses which rely on Ferryspeed and Condor Ferries to ship goods to the Channel Islands are facing higher prices. Credit: ITV Channel

The cost of buying goods to the Channel Islands could rise significantly next year if a freight company passes on increased prices of nearly 19% from Condor Ferries to customers.

Ferryspeed has contacted its business customers telling them that from January 2024 prices will rise by 8.76%.

But it warns that Condor Ferries has told the company it intends to increase its prices by 18.76% and that Ferryspeed "reserve[s] the right to further raise our prices beyond the 8.76%" currently planned.

ITV News understands Condor's price hikes relate to several rising costs, including increased port fees.

Last month, Ports of Jersey announced its charges would increase by 11.1% from 1 January 2024.

Ferryspeed says the price increase is "unprecedented" and that they have "raised the impact such an extraordinary increase would have on our customers and have asked them to explain the rationale behind their proposal".

The logistics firm says its team will "continue with our discussions with Condor Ferries" and "review our options".

Murray Norton, the CEO of Jersey's Chamber of Commerce, said: "The proposed rises in the cost of freight are terrible news for businesses in the island and will impact prices to customers.

"Chamber has been in discussions with Condor and [the] government on Friday and throughout the weekend to gain a greater understanding of the causes.

"These Condor price rises are high and do unfortunately reflect cost increases in the jurisdictions they operate. These do include Ports fee increases above inflation, large minimum wage increases and the rises in the cost of stevedore services."

Murray Norton says the price hike is "terrible news" for the Channel Islands

He continued: "The cumulative effect of these rises and others has all combined on one essential service.

"Clearly, the restraint Chamber has consistently called for, on areas within the control of government, does have an effect on the cost of running a business.

"The governments of both islands should be mindful of this when they add to business costs. We are seeing many sectors under huge pressure right now and this will certainly not help."

ITV News has contacted Condor Ferries and Ferryspeed for comment.

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