Port Authority implements measures to accommodate busy Christmas season

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room
(Photo Source: Observer)

With the holiday season in full swing, officials at the port have added a number of measures to accommodate the traditional spike in activity.

According to Port Manager, Darwin Telemaque, based on the improvements made at the port, residents should be experiencing markedly improved service.

“We brought in almost 20 young men and we brought them in temporarily to ensure that bulk that we would find when goods are not available is not going to exist for this Christmas season.

So far, we have seen the ability to prepare the cargo and get it ready, that has advanced availability and therefore, increased our ability to deliver.

“We are also opening earlier in the month on Saturdays.

So last Saturday was our first Saturday that we have opened for delivering cargo and certifying cargo because Customs was there as well for the public,” Telemaque explained.

The redevelopment project at Deep Water Harbour has resulted in a new cruise berth, cargo and logistics facility.

It also features new offices to house the Customs and Excise Division, the Plant Protection Unit, the Immigration Department and other services, so customers will not have to journey into St John’s and back when doing business.

And in an effort to consistently improve cargo operations at the port, Telemaque shared some plans that could come to fruition, if he has his way.

“I would like to see us do that maybe for a little bit longer.

I would like the port to emerge and be a whole different space.

Let’s break the mould, for example, extending the port hours to six o’clock, the warehouse hours to six o’clock everyday and let the people who work have some time to come and get their goods.

“It can be done. It is not impossible.

As a matter of fact, the more deliveries we make, the more revenue Ministry of Finance gets or the faster the Treasury gets the money.

We don’t want to have cargo locked up, we are envisioning a reshaping of the entire logistics landscape,” he added.

The US $90 million port was constructed by Chinese construction giant, the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.

Work began in 2018 but was beset by delays, exacerbated by the Covid pandemic.

An official ceremony was held last Thursday with a ribbon cutting section and featured addresses from Prime Minister Gaston Browne and other dignitaries.

Gate 3 was also renamed in honour of the first and longest serving port employee, Winston Gomes.

SOURCE: Observer