SUNBIZ

Operators Hopes For Urgent Review On Freight Rates

Inter-island ferry operator Victoria Marine Limited hopes that a review on freight rates for cargoes on franchise trips be considered soon. Speaking to Sun Shipping, company general manager shipping Captain
27 Sep 2017 11:00
Operators Hopes For Urgent Review On Freight Rates
MV Brianna loading cargos for a franchise trip at Port Mua-i-Walu, Suva. Photo: Wilona Ravato

Inter-island ferry operator Victoria Marine Limited hopes that a review on freight rates for cargoes on franchise trips be considered soon.

Speaking to Sun Shipping, company general manager shipping Captain Felix Maharaj said that the company provides franchise services to its contracted routes, but the low freight rates on loaded cargoes needs to be re-looked at by the authorities.

“We have very low rates for cargoes during franchise trips and we are operating to keep our heads above the water,” he said.

Captain Maharaj elaborated that expenses such as fuel costs, maintenance costs and using services like slipways were all factors included in operating shipping services.

“To keep operations running we have other things to look into and we are not making much revenue as we have to pay for these things.”

He added that meetings have been carried out with relevant authorities on the matter and local operators are hopeful for a positive feedback.

“Meetings to review freight rates are still in the pipe line for all local shipping operators on the matter,” he added.

The company provides services to the islands on both its vessels, the MV Brianna and MV Sea Rakino.

The MV Brianna left Port Mua-i- Walu for its franchise run to Vanubalavu  going through Cicia, Tuvuca, Cikobia, Lomaloma, MavanaVvillage, Nautauba and Yacata on Tuesday (yesterday).

“The vessel took such cargoes like gas, fuel, building materials, shop supplies for local shops in the villages and items from relatives to deliver to the villages,” Captain Maharaj said,

He adds that the company will continue to provide good services to members of the travelling public on both its vessels.

“We are nearing the peak season of travelling and are prepared to ensure good services for passengers who go with us,” he said.

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