SUNBIZ

Safety First – Shipping Companies Ready For Festive Season

The holidays are drawing closer and it will soon become the season for travelling. Everyone who travels via inter-island shipping wants to make the best of their time while on
05 Nov 2014 00:03
Safety First – Shipping Companies Ready For Festive Season

The holidays are drawing closer and it will soon become the season for travelling.

Everyone who travels via inter-island shipping wants to make the best of their time while on board and until they reach their destination.

To those who have plans to travel to outer islands during this peak season, the Consumer Council of Fiji has advised the general public to be more conscious, assertive and take a proactive role in ensuring they get value for their money.

The inter-island shipping and the ferry business has become part of consumers’ lives.

In the past, the Council received numerous complaints ranging from loss of personal belongings and cargo, overcrowding, delays in departure time or schedules and general disregard for customer redress, to name a few.

This time around, they have alerted the travelling public to be prepared this upcoming festive season.

A number of inter-island shipping operators Sun Shipping spoke to said they were prepared to accommodate customers with the best of services in the upcoming busy months.

Valesasa Transportation Company manager, Ilaitia Caginavanua said their vessel the MV Uluinabukelevu that services the Kadavu islands is now properly equipped to serve its customers.

Mr Caginavanua said with the busy Christmas and New Year period, the MV Uluinabukelevu will cater for the demand and also offer charter services.

Inter-Island ship owner for Lomaiviti Princess I and Lomaiviti Princess II, George Goundar had earlier said that this festive season, they would like to see everybody to travel safely.

On that note, both the ships have strict recycling policies such as announcements with passengers on board and colour codes on garbage instructing passengers on where to throw plastics on one container and regular rubbish on the other.

When travelling on board, members of the public have been advised to look around the surroundings of the safety equipments and know its uses.

 

Some consumer tips to follow when travelling by inter-island ships supplied by the Consumer Council of Fiji are listed below:

* Plan your dates properly—plan ahead and purchase your tickets on time to avoid last-minute hiccups such as unavailability of seats.

* Enquire about your departure and arrival times — these are important information. Be sure to ask the timings and ensure they are being followed.

* Check for cancellations — prior to travelling down to the docks, check whether your ship is planned to depart as scheduled or there has been any cancellations. (read newspapers or listen to radio for any notices on delay/cancellation).

* Secure your luggage — lock your bags, tape your boxes and cartons properly to ensure your valuables do not spill out or get misplaced/lost during travel.

* Enquire about your lost luggage — if your luggage has by any chance gone missing at the hands of the shipping company then enquire with the shipping staff. If your voice is still not heard, then visit the council to seek redress.

* Pack your luggage accordingly You must check with the shipping company what you can carry on the ship so that you can pack your luggage accordingly.

* Consider different shipping companies — if possible, consider travelling with different shipping companies for your travel. Take reviews and feedbacks from friends and families, check online for reviews, services and cost and make a decision.

* Lodge a complaint if the service was not delivered as promised or as planned.



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