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Tracker to cut time at jetties

Matilda Simmons
Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Goundar Shipping Services has revealed it will soon introduce a service enabling travellers to track the position of vessels and avoid long waiting hours at jetties.

Manager for the inter-island shipping company, George Goundar, said the local shipping industry had to catch up with modern technology if it was to survive.

"We're going to install CCTV cameras and at the moment we're working with a company in Canada where we can see live where the vessels are sailing at sea or people can log on the computer and track where the vessels are so they don't have to wait at the Narain Jetty for hours for vessels to come in," he said.

"People are demanding for comfort, and as a stakeholder, we need to provide that service. The road service is there but shipping is lacking, and there's still space for improvement."

Since opening his shipping firm in 2011, Mr Goundar has been adding vessels to his fleet. He recently made a $2.5m acquisition of a 52-year-old vessel on December 6 to be renamed the Lomaiviti Princess V.

While happy with the acquisition; Mr Goundar said there were challenges local operators had to deal with.

"Running a shipping company is a huge challenge. In Fiji, we are behind especially in data facility, where passengers can track vessel movements, etc.

"I also have to take my vessels overseas for some repairs and it's a huge cost.

"Most of our trade workers have left Fiji for greener pastures so we have a young generation coming in. I'm using my 24 years of experience at a company in Canada to share with the young kids here."

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