Categorized | Letters, Local, Opinions

Creating the right climate for investment – Not the highest freight rates

Dear Mr. Editor,

Please allow me some space to discuss an issue which is of great importance to both the Public and Private Sector. Our combined efforts are necessary if we are to reactivate our dormant economy.

With the worldwide economy so bad and with Montserrat caught up in the mix, some of us feel strongly that we should do all we could to assist in growingMontserrat’s economy. The projection of a 4% growth this year cannot be achieved except we all pull our weight-Public and Private sector alike.

We need to create the right climate for investment, trade and the expansion of our tourism sector. One very important ingredient in all this is Access. A big part in this would be the acquisition of a suitable ferry capable of carrying customers in comfort as well as adequately bringing the freight between Antigua andMontserrat.

At the present time very little freight from Antigua toMontserratis brought by the ferry. The main function of the ferry has been to transport passengers to and fromAntigua.

So why doesn’t the ferry bring freight or even all the freight between Antigua andMontserrat? Is it because the current ferry was not designed to bring freight? Well, if that is so, that should be corrected now. We understand a new ferry is being built forMontserrat. It would be smart for the design to take into account our freight requirements.

But that would only be part of the equation. The ferry must also have competitive rates. The prohibitive rates that existed for some time resulted in almost total rejection of using the ferry for freight. Complaints about the inability of the private sector to take advantage of the ferry to get its cargo moved, resulted in a recent review of the rates.

The new rate is EC$0.25 per pound or EC $15.00 per cu.ft whichever is greater. So what does this change mean? The reduction from $ 0.50 to $0.25 means that it’s cheaper than before but still higher than any other carrier. It also means that if the ferry got any revenue at all from freight that this would now be reduced by at least half. Traders would only use the ferry if it were an emergency!

What however is dramatically worse is the increase from EC$5 per cu.ft to EC$15.00 per cu. ft. Absolute madness! No one in their right mind would now use the ferry to bring their cargo.

A little research would reveal the following:-

Rate per cu.ft. Miami – Montserrat US$3.80 (EC$10.32)

Rate per cu.ft. St Martin – Montserrat US $2.50 (EC$6.79)

Rate per cu.ft. Antigua –MontserratUS $1.56(EC$4.25)

Rate per cu.ft. Ferry – Antigua – Montserrat US$5.52(EC$15.00)

A little more research reveals that they arrived at their per pound figure of EC$0.25 by working it backwards from the cubic ft. rate of EC$15 thus compounding the madness.

The above figures speak for themselves.Montserrathas no interest in earning any revenue from freight on the ferry! We would be satisfied with whatever we can get by carrying passengers even if we have to heavily subsidize the operation!

What a path to economic recovery!

But no, we can’t allow things like this to happen! Whatever we do should always be in our best interest. Any and everything we do should be a net benefit to our society.

We must have a policy that coincides with the vision forMontserrat’s redevelopment. Then we must have a strategy for implementation and achieving the goals and objectives. And finally we must evaluate the end results and be satisfied that the end results all redound to our benefit.

So, let’s fix the rates so that we maximize the revenue earning potential of the ferry.

This would be to everybody’s benefit.

Business Man

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Dear Mr. Editor,

Please allow me some space to discuss an issue which is of great importance to both the Public and Private Sector. Our combined efforts are necessary if we are to reactivate our dormant economy.

With the worldwide economy so bad and with Montserrat caught up in the mix, some of us feel strongly that we should do all we could to assist in growingMontserrat’s economy. The projection of a 4% growth this year cannot be achieved except we all pull our weight-Public and Private sector alike.

Insert Ads Here

We need to create the right climate for investment, trade and the expansion of our tourism sector. One very important ingredient in all this is Access. A big part in this would be the acquisition of a suitable ferry capable of carrying customers in comfort as well as adequately bringing the freight between Antigua andMontserrat.

At the present time very little freight from Antigua toMontserratis brought by the ferry. The main function of the ferry has been to transport passengers to and fromAntigua.

So why doesn’t the ferry bring freight or even all the freight between Antigua andMontserrat? Is it because the current ferry was not designed to bring freight? Well, if that is so, that should be corrected now. We understand a new ferry is being built forMontserrat. It would be smart for the design to take into account our freight requirements.

But that would only be part of the equation. The ferry must also have competitive rates. The prohibitive rates that existed for some time resulted in almost total rejection of using the ferry for freight. Complaints about the inability of the private sector to take advantage of the ferry to get its cargo moved, resulted in a recent review of the rates.

The new rate is EC$0.25 per pound or EC $15.00 per cu.ft whichever is greater. So what does this change mean? The reduction from $ 0.50 to $0.25 means that it’s cheaper than before but still higher than any other carrier. It also means that if the ferry got any revenue at all from freight that this would now be reduced by at least half. Traders would only use the ferry if it were an emergency!

What however is dramatically worse is the increase from EC$5 per cu.ft to EC$15.00 per cu. ft. Absolute madness! No one in their right mind would now use the ferry to bring their cargo.

A little research would reveal the following:-

Rate per cu.ft. Miami – Montserrat US$3.80 (EC$10.32)

Rate per cu.ft. St Martin – Montserrat US $2.50 (EC$6.79)

Rate per cu.ft. Antigua –MontserratUS $1.56(EC$4.25)

Rate per cu.ft. Ferry – Antigua – Montserrat US$5.52(EC$15.00)

A little more research reveals that they arrived at their per pound figure of EC$0.25 by working it backwards from the cubic ft. rate of EC$15 thus compounding the madness.

The above figures speak for themselves.Montserrathas no interest in earning any revenue from freight on the ferry! We would be satisfied with whatever we can get by carrying passengers even if we have to heavily subsidize the operation!

What a path to economic recovery!

But no, we can’t allow things like this to happen! Whatever we do should always be in our best interest. Any and everything we do should be a net benefit to our society.

We must have a policy that coincides with the vision forMontserrat’s redevelopment. Then we must have a strategy for implementation and achieving the goals and objectives. And finally we must evaluate the end results and be satisfied that the end results all redound to our benefit.

So, let’s fix the rates so that we maximize the revenue earning potential of the ferry.

This would be to everybody’s benefit.

Business Man