Ferry Business - Autumn/Winter 2022

8 3 to work for FRS Clipper, despite being furloughed on multiple occasions. I am incredibly lucky to have the chance to contribute to the success of this dedicated and loyal team.” Two years of not being able to travel internationally has created a significant amount of pent-up demand, especially for families and friends to reconnect and once again travel mostly without restrictions. “While demand for travel has been strong for summer 2022, skyrocketing fuel costs are certainly a challenge,” says Pahnke. “Furthermore, staffing challenges continue across the regional maritime and travel industry, requiring all employees to partake in shared additional responsibilities as we recruit for open roles. “Our biggest challenge for a full return to seamless travel remains having guests arrive at our terminal having completed Canada’s required ArriveCAN app prior to crossing the border. We are hopeful and optimistic that these points of friction will continue to ease with time.” Since 1986, FRS Clipper’s business has been built on the back of a yearround, passenger-only, fast-ferry service between Seattle and Victoria. Regionally, FRS Clipper is recognised as the fastest, most reliable way to connect between both cities. Pahnke is upbeat about the brand’s future and believes the ferry industry will continue to be a key facilitator and contributor for the economic success of the region. However, he concedes that the most immediate and challenging issue will be overcoming current staffing issues. “All key maritime players in the industry are struggling to find staff with the right credentials to support vessel and shoreside operations,” he explains. “Threats of a resurging pandemic and recession will linger, but I remain optimistic that by the end of 2023, staffing levels and overall business operations will begin to normalise once again.” CFR