28 November 2015 18:32 - General Press Release

Media Statement - Saturday 28th November

Steve Champion-Smith, Executive Director – Freight, said:

“This weekend’s disruption has been caused by severe weather and is therefore beyond our control. As the forecast for the next few days deteriorated, we immediately advised our customers of the situation and worked with them to plan freight deliveries in advance, to ensure any disruption to supplies is minimised. This resulted in us putting on an extra sailing of Commodore Goodwill on Sunday.

“As a result of this advanced planning with our customers, we have ensured that there will be no effect on supplies to the island until Monday evening. By this time, none of our conventional ferries, including Commodore Clipper (had she been in service), would be able to sail because of the extreme weather.
“All major food retailers in the Channel Islands, including the Coop, use just-in-time planning for their deliveries and we work closely with them to make sure they get the supplies they need, when they need them.

“There is never a good time to take vessels out of service for maintenance but it has to be done periodically in order to keep our fleet in the best possible condition. If a ship is out of service in the summer then it has an effect on passengers and if we take a ship out of service in the winter then other services are likely to be weather affected. We therefore try to ensure maintenance takes place in the autumn or spring “shoulder” months, so any knock on effect is minimised.

“When planning the current maintenance periods, which will see Clipper and Goodwill fitted with scrubbers that will ensure they are compliant with EU environmental legislation, we worked with the island governments and our freight customers, including the Coop, to make sure the maintenance was undertaken at a period of minimum disruption.

“There are very few ships available worldwide which are able to fit into our island ports and we have worked hard to make sure we have charter access to one of them, MV Arrow, which ensures that we always have two freight ships in operation.

“As an important customer, we have worked with the Coop to minimise any effect of the severe weather, which is beyond our control. It is unfortunate that Mr Cox feels otherwise.”

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