Condor’s established freight service between Jersey and France has seen a 30% uplift in total business since the frequency of sailings was increased to four days per week less than a year ago.
Commodore Clipper’s weekly round trip to St Malo, which has been running for 30 years, was extended in April 2022 through the deployment of the high speed catamaran, Condor Voyager. The company has reported a significant rise in the transport of ambient and temperature controlled products which includes fresh items imported by local supermarkets along with shellfish and other goods travelling south.
John Napton (pictured), Condor’s CEO, said he was pleased to see carryings develop and confirmed that the number of sailings and capacity of Voyager as being key.
He said: “We are naturally delighted that the extension of our established freight services with the continent has shown a 30% increase in carryings in less than a year.
“This is due to our frequency and extra capacity. Island-based and continental businesses are able to ship chilled and ambient items more often and because Voyager is a larger vessel than her predecessor, offering greater deck space, this helps the range of products and materials that can be transported.”
The service operates on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and guarantees 272 lane metres each week, equivalent to four 13.6m trailers per crossing, along with accompanied freight. It supports Condor’s weekly trip between Portsmouth, the Islands and France which has been run by conventional freight vessel since the early 1990s.
Mr Napton added that the company’s freight operation in general had shown resilience in recent months during prolonged periods of inclement weather: “I would like to pay tribute to the 100 strong freight team, to the crews on board our two ships and to our shore side staff, for their dedication, particularly in the key weeks before Christmas when we experienced some very challenging weather conditions, including battling five metre waves in the English Channel.
“Despite this, we managed to ensure everyone was stocked and supplied in the Islands over the festive period so I am grateful to our staff for their hard work and determination, and also to the local retailers and logistics partners with whom we work closely.”