By Paul Hutchings
Star Staff Writer
CORNER BROOK Oceanex Inc. has pulled its marine freight business out of the Port of Corner Brook.
Oceanex executive chairman Sid Hynes said it has become more difficult to compete with Marine Atlantic in the freight shipping business, mainly because that company enjoys subsidies from the government that Oceanex does not.
“It’s hard to compete against our own tax dollars,” said Hynes, adding Marine Atlantic’s business is subsidized by the federal government to the tune of about 70 per cent.
“We still have to pay the full cost of doing business. We do not share in those subsidies and we are unable to compete (in marine freight shipping).”
The move means the jobs of a full-time sales person, three part time employees and four security workers will be eliminated from the site.
Hynes said Oceanex will continue leasing the site at the port for an unspecified amount of time. The company will also continue its ground shipping business across the island.
The marine freight business, Hynes said, just lost business from a national chain, which further complicated the issue.
“We would love to be staying in Corner Brook but it just is not going to be possible,” he said.