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Goundar Shipping To Opt Out From Franchise Scheme

Goundar Shipping To Opt Out From Franchise Scheme
May 10
11:15 2017

The Goundar Shipping Limited (GSL) is now thinking of opting out from the franchise scheme.

This was confirmed by GSL managing director Mr George Goundar.

He said the company wanted Government to review shipping rates.

“We have been requesting those responsible for the scheme to review all rates on all routes we’re serving,” he said.

Currently GSL has been given franchise trips to Rotuma, Northern Lau and Yasayasa Moala

Mr Goundar   said when working out the money from the franchise trips with the current rates they were losing.

He said they cared for the people they served and at all times gave them the best service.

However he said their service did not equate with the money from the franchise scheme.

“It should increase.”

The franchise contract to Rotuma he said was for two years and had expired last month.

“All our franchise contracts have expired and I will not apply for the renewal.”

Mr Goundar said the vessel Lomaiviti Princess 2 was usually used for franchise but the other three vessels operated normally

From June he said they would begin their normal service to Yasayasa Moala.

Starting from this month he said they would start their own run to Gau, Batiki, and Nairai.

“We will serve these islands in the Lomaiviti Group once a month only.”

For Rotuma he said they would only provide service if the rates were reviewed.

When contacted yesterday the Ministry of Transport confirmed they had received  submissions on the subject from local shipping companies including GSL.

The acting director for Infrastructure, Transport and Policy, Faranisese Kinivuwai, said they would not release any information to the media until the Cabinet approved the review.

Meanwhile the Franchise Scheme is a shipping assistance provided by Government for shipping services in uneconomical shipping routes in the Maritime province.

The total Assistance Allocated by Government in the 2013 Budget was $1.5M

Cabinet had decided in January 2013 – that the administration of the Franchise Scheme be transferred to the Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utilities

 

Franchise objectives

maximum island port outreach

One trip  per month per route

Maximum of three routes per vessel

48 hour settlement of franchise accounts upon receipt of relevant documents

Monthly approvals of franchise trips.

 

Challenges

Lack of readily MSAF approved vessels

Competency of vessel crew and vessel management

Settlement of Financial Accounts – documents verification (sailing plan, manifests etc)

Current franchise rates compared to introduction of new vessels

Lack of substitute vessels to be engaged when vessels undergo a maintenance programme.

Public response to maximize the usage of franchise scheme

Synergy of resources

Penalty clause for rogue contract operators.

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