Shippingcompanies are going against Rønne
A battle regarding millions of Danish kroner, which until now was kept secret, between shipping company Færgen, Molslinjen and the Port of Rønne has come to light, as Danish media TV 2/Bornholm has gotten insight to an financial battle between the Port of Rønne and Danish ferry company Færgen, a battle that has lasted for more than a year
The battle centers around the increase of port fees that the Port of Rønne implemented on January 1. The increases made it significantly more expensive for Færgen to arrive in Rønne, as ship tolls increased. According to Færgens calculations, the increases amounted to a rise of 160 percent.
The financial battle culminated in the beginning of the year when Færgen refused to pay the new prices. Færgen paid an annual 5.5 million in port fees in 2017. This amount has increased to 14.3 million Danish kroner in 2018 – a rather large increase of 8.8 million kroner on an annual basis.
Færgen therefore decided not to pay the new fees that the Port of Rønne demanded. From January 1 until Færgen stopped sailing to and from Bronholm, the company has only paid the ship fees that applied prior to the increases.
The Port of Rønne has filed a debt collection case against Færgen, as case that has to be processed in the Maritime and Commercial Court in order for the port to get their receivables. Færgen has complained about the Port of Rønne as they believe the port is breaking competitive laws and taking advantage of its position as a monopoly.
The Port of Rønne spoke to TV2/Bornholm and rejected all acquisition of abuse of monopoly and breach of old agreements. The port claims that it is merely a matter of fixing a backlog that happened because of an old discount deal.
"We're just adjusting an old discount deal that has gotten out of control as Færgen has made more arrivals. I do not know if this is unjust. You can also turn it around and say that they got a bargain till now", says Rønne’s port director, Thomas Bendtsen, to TV2 / Bornholm.
Færgen maintains to perceive the toll increases as unfair. The shipping company believes that the increases were "snuck in" and that the increases were not announced as a surprise in 2017. However, the Port of Rønne claims that customers were informed of the increases way back in January 2016.
As of now, Færgen has not followed in the footsteps of fellow ferry company Molslinjen and reported the Port of Rønne to the Competion Authorities.
Kilde: TV2/Bornholm og Redaktionen