Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Port reduces container charges

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The transition to a new operating model at the Port of Bridgetown will reduce container-related port charges by 10 per cent.

Chief Executive Officer, David Jean-Marie, announced that effective April 9, Barbados Port Inc. (BPI) would transition the Port of Bridgetown to a full Free Out Port. At the same time, he said BPI will move stevedoring services in-house, for execution by Port labour.

The Chief Executive explained: “These changes are expected to improve the efficiency and productivity of overall port operations, while reducing container-related port costs to customers by 10 per cent per 20-foot standardised shipping container”.

Assuming an annual throughput of 100 000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) containers at the Port, distributed by imported, exported, transhipped and empty container categories, he said the net saving to customers in Barbados from the proposed transition is approximately Bds$7.6 million annually.

The saving per TEU in the Dry container category will be Bds$162.27 while that per TEU Refrigerated will be $168.14 and that for Loaded Exports will be $63.22 per TEU.

Outlining the benefits the new model will bring, Jean-Marie noted that shipping lines will have a more transparent ocean freight, while customers will benefit from a lower Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) value and consequentially lower imposts.

Additionally, he said BPI’s transition to a full Free Out Port will streamline billing arrangements, where all the cargo-specific costs previously charged through the shipping line as part of the ocean freight, as well as the new consolidated stevedoring services charge and revised Free Alongside Ship (FAS) charge, will now be collected by the Port from local importers/consignees.

He noted “all BPI operational, logistics and billing systems have been adapted to ensure a seamless transition to our taking responsibility for stevedoring”.

“We are confident that this transition is in the fairest interest of our respective customers, as we continue to strengthen the Port of Bridgetown’s international trade regime,” he stated.

Following discussions on the changes that will result from the transition to a full Free Out Port, President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Anthony Branker, said “We are supportive of BPI’s move as it will not result in an increase in cost to importers, but rather a minimal cost saving by the 10 per cent savings in port cost.

“The BCCI recognises that the BPI has no control over Ocean Freight rates but has committed to working with the BPI as this transition is made and stands ready to offer any clarifications on these changes outlined.” (PR)

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