SHIPPING

Fears ferry fares will fail firms

Fears ferry fares will fail firms

Coastal shipping sources are expressing hope that the easing of hostilities in Ukraine will see global fuel rates decline after their recent rally, allowing for the reduction of ferry tickets back to normal levels.

The ticket price rise recorded before the Russian invasion in Ukraine amounted to 10%, as a result of the jump in global oil rates by 70% between February 2021 and last month. However, the subsequent soaring of international fuel rates to over $1,000 per ton, from about $400/ton last year, has sent Greek ferry tickets 10% higher still.

Given the particularly low traffic at the moment, due to it being the low season, coastal shipping companies have also had to rationalize their schedules, reducing the frequency of services or even stopping some altogether when there are alternative transport solutions in place.

Fuel prices are now expected to start heading lower again, starting from the period before Easter – i.e. in the next four to five weeks – provided of course the anticipated contraction of global oil rates actually happens.

In any case, the industry expects fares to have eased considerably by the summer, when traffic peaks – otherwise operators are set to face serious financial problems, according to insiders.