Due to the swells caused by Hurricane Lee, Tropical Shipping – one of the leading shipping lines that bring cargo into St. John’s Harbour every week – diverted its two largest vessels into the harbour on Sunday.
Port Manager Mr. Darwin Telemaque explained that the shipping line chose St. John’s Harbour as a safe port due to the swells and high tide that had been affecting several islands in the Western Caribbean.
The two vessels, Tropic Jewel and Tropic Unity were carrying cargo that was destined for other islands but were offloaded in Antigua and Barbuda for transshipment elsewhere.
As a result, many importers and supermarkets were able to receive their weekly goods a day earlier than usual.
Telemaque emphasized that the most important outcome of this exercise was the efficiency of St. John’s Harbour operation.
This demonstrated to Tropical Shipping that it could be considered a serious transshipment point for the shipping line.
The port manager reported that the staff, led by Acting Terminal Manager Dale Phillips, discharged 122 containers from the Tropical Jewel, which arrived first by midday.
This was done in less than six hours, exceeding the shipping line’s expectations. The excellent work of the team impressed Tropical Shipping.
Telemaque said that there have been ongoing discussions with Tropical Shipping to make use of St. John’s Harbour as a transshipment hub for goods destined to other Caribbean islands.
He believes that the efficiency of the operations demonstrated over the last two days has made a strong case for this to become a reality.
He hopes that Tropical Shipping takes note of this and decides to use St. John’s Harbour as a transshipment point.
“The port is now able to execute in ways that it could not have done before. These are two large vessels, and we were able to clear them in record time. I am hoping that Tropical takes notice of this and decides that this is the place to do it,” Telemaque stated.