SUNBIZ

Ship Operators Confident Of Freight Review

Local shipping operators remain adamant that the freight rates for cargoes will be revised upward to meet the high cost of transportation to the maritime islands. Speaking on behalf of
26 Nov 2014 07:21
Ship Operators Confident Of Freight Review
Port Mua-i-Walu.

Local shipping operators remain adamant that the freight rates for cargoes will be revised upward to meet the high cost of transportation to the maritime islands.

Speaking on behalf of the operators, MV Liahona director and owner Ulaiasi Baivatu said a review is the best option as the current freight rate is not working well especially to those servicing the uneconomical routes.

The current rate is based on the 1992 decree.

“All companies want a new decree but it has been frozen at the moment until the decree is reviewed,” Mr Baivatu said.

“The cost of operating a vessel is high taking into account the fuel money. For those of us who operate under the Government Franchise Scheme, we are glad that at least Government is meeting some of the fuel cost.

“We make money from the passengers fare and freight from cargoes but due to low rate, we are not able to make money. Sometimes we are able to level the cost meaning money received from the trip matches up with the trip cost itself or otherwise we are running at a loss most of the time.”

Mr Baivatu said this is usually an experience for them especially when they sail to uneconomical routes such as to Southern Lau.

He said most of the operators have sought the assistance of the Commerce Commission.

“We have visited the Commission and we have been advised to write to them and submit the frequency of our trips,” Mr Baivatu said.

“We remain hopeful that one day, our request will be met but as for the time being, we cannot charge high rates and we are mindful of that.”

Feedback: losalinir@fijisun.com.fj



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