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Meet needs of people

Ana Madigibuli
Wednesday, March 07, 2018

THE overall plan for Victoria Marine Ltd was to provide shipping services locally and regionally, something they have achieved early this year.

Today, the shipping company is providing shipping services to Vanuatu and for Kiribati at the end of the month.

Victoria Marine Ltd director Josateki Tagi said operating a shipping business was not about trying to maximise returns but was about meeting the needs of people in the outer island who relied on shipping services.

"The company has four vessels with one vessel being used under the government franchise; another boat being used for hire and chartered trips and our MV Sea Rakino servicing the outer islands in Fiji," Mr Tagi said.

"We plan to have a lot of Pacific Island jobs which we use our fourth boat (a target barge) for. The target barge is now in Vanuatu carrying out some work and we are aligned again for another job in Kiribati which we will be providing service to at the end of the month.

"Overall there are a lot of opportunities for target barge in the region and we are trying to maximise that part of the business. That was our entire plan, to use our target barge for regional services.

He said small operators had a lot of competitors now operating in Fiji.

"Like Goundar Shipping, it has about five to six boats and it's a mammoth task for the small operators who service the same routes, but we are safeguarded by the geographical set-up of Fiji with a lot of reefs around. This makes it difficult for them to service some areas and that is an advantage for the smaller operators," he said.

"For us, that would be the major progress, having to provide service both locally and regionally.

"We (the company) are very fortunate to be supported by Government on the franchise run but in terms of revenue we just break-even.

"We think we did the right decision to get our target barge to service outside of Fiji and I think it's well-planned because we are getting the returns now."

The Victoria Marine Ltd barge that is operating in Vanuatu has been sub-contracted by a local company to ship aggregates.

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