The Antigua Port Authority has reported that it has already processed more containers in the first half of this year than it did in the same period of 2022.
The trend indicates that the port is likely to break its record for container processing by the end of this year. Darwin Telemaque, the Port General Manager, believes that the increase in the number of containers processed is a clear sign that the private sector has bounced back from the COVID-19-related decline.
This is reflected in higher imports into the country. According to the figures from January to June 2023, the total number of containers processed was 956 compared to 868 from the same period in 2022.
This shows a difference of 88 containers processed in just six months. A closer look at the figures also indicates increases in all sizes of containers imported into the country.
The count of 20-foot containers rose from 156 in 2022 to 174 in 2023, while the 40-foot container count rose from 710 to 761. The count for 45-foot containers increased significantly from 2 in 2022 to 21 in 2023.
Overall, the increase was nine percent in 2023 compared to 2022. Telemaque revealed that container traffic has been growing steadily since 2014, and 2019 was a record year for Antigua and Barbuda. However, he noted that since the end of 2021, as the country emerged from the pandemic, there has been a 41 percent increase in container traffic handled by the port.
“This demonstrates that the private sector is quite resilient, as the increased goods imported into the country are signs of growth in the economy and further indication that we are on track to better even our best previous year, 2019, by the end of this year,” he declared.