Falkland Islands Government statement in relation to shipping
FIG has agreed today heads of agreement with Consolidated Fisheries Ltd to enable South American Atlantic Service Ltd (SAAS) to resume its international freight services in the near future.
The three year deal will ensure that the financial support is available to enable SAAS to plan for the longer term and ensure customers can also plan to use the service with a high degree of confidence. Both CFL and FIG will cooperate to enable the Company to provide competitive freight rates over the next three years even if freight volumes continue to be low.
FIG had already taken steps to ensure that the MV Scout would be available to SAAS if a deal was done and the Scout will be on charter to SAAS from 1 September.
SAAS has ensured that it has a number of options available for shipping routes which plug in to the world wide container network and can provide an efficient service through to final destination for customers. The SAAS Board will determine which of these is to be utilised when the service starts.
The service should start in the near future and certainly by November at the latest. It will be necessary to recruit a General Manager and other staff and put in place many other practicalities which may mean the service cannot start immediately.
SAAS will contact its customers directly in due course to advise them of how they can obtain details of freight timings and costs.
Commenting on the deal MLA Gavin Short said:
œWe have been reassuring the community for a long time that work was being done behind the scenes to ensure a satisfactory containerised shipping service would continue. The community has been very patient and this is being repaid in our announcement today of a long term deal which will see SAAS through the next few years. We should not fool ourselves that fresh challenges to our international links may occur but we shall continue to meet these with our usual determination. Farmers, fishing companies and other customers should now await arrangements to be put in place by SAAS to enable the continuance of the service
MV Scout is the vessel used by SAAS for the service which finished in July.