The Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA) has published its findings from a market study into Jersey’s freight logistics market.
The JCRA has concluded that there is room for improvement toward better competition and more resilience in what is a lifeline service for the Island.
The JCRA commenced the market study in September 2021, working with specialist consultants Fisher Associates to examine the freight and logistics market and, where necessary, make recommendations for improvement. Interim findings were published in February, opening up a further period of consultation which culminates in the final publication.
The study focused on understanding the current structure of the market and on drawing any lessons from comparable markets internationally.
The final report considers three key areas:
- Competition issues – Lack of space in the port limits new entrants, constrains growth and introduces potential inefficiencies in operations. Warehousing capacity at the port is a specific constraint. Competition is also affected by wider policy matters, for example road accessibility and vehicle restrictions.
- Market resilience – Jersey is heavily reliant on the freight logistics market but with one RoRo operator, one dominant freight logistics provider and a reliance on trade with the UK, there are risks in the market. Lift on Lift off (LoLo) is widely used in Jersey and does offer an alternative to RoRo, and there could be opportunities for greater trade with France.
- Market observations – The study may help stimulate discussions about how the market could be made more efficient within the constraints of the port area; there could be greater focus on the environment and carbon emissions which offer both challenges and opportunities to the freight market.
The JCRA makes seven recommendations in its report:
- Ports of Jersey to review the use of facilities and leasing arrangements at the port of St Helier.
- Government/DVS to review traffic/accessibility issues on Jersey to create temporary and targeted ‘freight corridors’.
- Ports of Jersey to support initiatives to drive improvements in operational efficiency within current constraints at the Port of St Helier.
- The freight industry should establish a Freight Trade Association, to drive efficiency and support innovation in the sector.
- Government should develop a policy framework to support effective competition in the freight logistics sector, including a Ports Policy.
- The Ports of Jersey should ensure the Ports Masterplan will support effective competition in freight logistics sector.
- Government to support the development of existing and new freight routes to France.
Tim Ringsdore, Chief Executive Officer at the JCRA said, “This market study has been thorough and inclusive, reflecting the lifeline status of the freight logistics sector in Jersey. The study posed a number of challenges, but we have effectively achieved our objective: to review the market in terms of competition and resilience.
“In our role as the regulator of port operations in Jersey, we will support the implementation of the recommendations. We will also closely follow further policy developments in this area and seek updates on implementation of the recommendations.
“It is important to thank everyone who contributed to this study. There has been robust, honest, and extremely valuable debate during the process and, as a result, I think we have built a clear picture of the market as it stands, and the opportunities that exist to improve what we have.”