The National, Wednesday June 26th, 2013
By MALUM NALU
CONSORT Shipping is not the only shipping company allowed to enter Milne Bay, according to PNG Ports Corporation Ltd (PNGPCL).
PNGPCL public relations manager Peter Korugl clarified this yesterday after queries from The National as to whether Consort was the only coastal shipper allowed to enter Milne Bay and was taking advantage of the monopoly by charging high fees.
“The statement that Consort Shipping is the only company allowed to enter Milne Bay is incorrect,” Korugl said in a statement.
“The coastal shipping business is open for any business to enter into, and PNG Ports does not have any control, legal or otherwise, to control this business.
“As long as they have the appropriate licences from the National Maritime Safety Authority for the provision of coastal shipping business, anyone can enter that market.
“If, however, the coastal shipping market is unable to economically sustain multiple players and that the only player is deemed to be generating monopoly profits, then any consumer or interested party can raise this with the competition authority, the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission,” Korugl said.
“The long and short of it is that, we, PNG Ports, as a ship parking service provider have nothing to do with this.”
A shipping source said yesterday that Consort was the only coastal shipping operator in Milne Bay but it was not a monopoly.
“Alotau, like a lot of other ports, is a port where the operator also loses money but does the trade as part of the overall service around PNG,” he said.