Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man counts cost of ferry disruption in December

The Isle of Man is still counting the cost after a series of ferry freight cancellations in December, according to the economic development minister.

In the January sitting of Tynwald, John Shimmin confirmed the Steam Packet company was forced to cancel 44 sailings during the severe weather.

Of these, 13 cancellations were caused by technical problems on the company's freight vessel, the Ben my Chree.

Mr Shimmin said some businesses are still feeling the effects.

He added: "Our manufacturing sector has been particularly affected. There are examples of raw materials being delayed and held at dockside with food deliveries given the priority. Good for the island's need to feed itself but not good in terms of our ability to be competitive as a high-value manufacturing centre."

However, Mr Shimmin believes the Steam Packet company did the best it could in the difficult circumstances by "working closely with its customers to prioritise freight and adapting its timetable to suit prevailing weather conditions".

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