Marine Atlantic announced a 3% rate increase in its rates for passenger and commercial traffic.  The information can be seen in the following documents:

There will be no increase in the security fee or the fuel surcharge.

Marine Atlantic also announced a schedule change.  The schedule change will:

  • maintain the number of sailings during the summer months but more of them will become evening crossings
  • only offer one sailing (evening) on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the months of January and February.

The fee increase is not a surprise as Marine Atlantic has been alluding to the possible need for a rate increase since the latter part of 2013.  The schedule change was not expected by RCC members.

Member To Do

Marine Atlantic states that the schedule change will not impact RCC members as most retailers prefer to ship their products on the evening sailings.  RCC is asking members to advise if the schedule change will impact your business.

What RCC Did / Next Steps

RCC expressed its concern at the rate increase given the continued operational challenges at Marine Atlantic.  RCC used the opportunity to stress the need for a modern commercial reservation system, which would not only provide increased transparency, flexibility and certainty to commercial customers but could also provide administrative savings to Marine Atlantic in the long term.

RCC believes that its advocacy will protect the interests of its members while continuing to build RCC’s positive relationship with Marine Atlantic.  It is hoped that this relationship will reap rewards for RCC members, including the reinstatement of a new and improved commercial reservation system. 

Background

Marine Atlantic stated that the rate increase is necessary to cover increased operating costs. 
Marine Atlantic stated that the summer scheduling change was made in response to continued demand from passengers and commercial customers to arrive in Newfoundland in the morning. 

Marine Atlantic stated that currently, the morning sailings on Tuesdays and Thursdays in January and February are only 20% full (approximately) while the evening sailings are only 50% full (approximately).  Due to the fact that this change will only occur for two sailing days per week over a two month period, Marine Atlantic said it will always have another vessel ready to sail, if needed.  For instance, if Marine Atlantic falls behind schedule due to weather or mechanical issues, the other vessel can easily be brought into service.  Marine Atlantic refers to the practice of bringing on another vessel as Management Discretion Sailings or ‘Hot Idle’.

Marine Atlantic is expected to make a decision before the Fall of 2014 regarding RCC’s call for a return of a new and improved commercial reservation system.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Jim Cormier, Director (Atlantic) at:  [email protected] or 902-422-4144.