Philipsburg – Port St. Maarten Management said on Tuesday that container ships carrying consumer-packaged-food-goods and household products out of Europe and the United States continue to call at the port as normal and according to schedule.
Port St. Maarten has been in contact with cargo shipping companies to discuss shipping logistics continuity plans to the country for the aforementioned and is very pleased to learn that back-up plans are in place to guarantee unhindered shipping transportation of goods and raw materials.
“We heard from several of our shipping logistical carriers and agents, and they all have plans in place. One ship agent said that they have no changes planned to their service calls to the country; they have back-up plans in place and three personnel shifts at their facility in Palm Beach, Florida to handle the loading of cargo ships to St. Maarten.
“We feel very confident with the contingency plans that shipping companies have drafted to maintain a regular supply of food and household goods to the country. There is no reason for panic buying as the shipping of goods from the United States and Europe will continue,” Port St. Maarten Management said on Tuesday.
CMA CGM in an invited comment said: “The CMA CGM Group maintains full service for St. Maarten and ensures that all its vessels are fully booked, and volume grows on Nefgui/Cagema and Leeward service. The CMA CGM Group is highly committed to improve its services to support the development of St Maarten. Our office remains open from Monday 08:00am to Friday 05:00 pm to welcome our customers and arrange smooth container release actions.”
Tropical Shipping in an official statement said that it continues to monitor the developments on the outbreak of COVID-19 and continues to closely follow the preventive recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Tropical Shipping adds, that as of, March 13th, 2020, there are no cargo restrictions to any of the port’s Tropical serves, and that its Marine Department has strong safety and health protocols in place for its vessels and crew.
The Curacao Trading Company (CTC) SXM NV stated: “CTC as agent for King Ocean Services advises, as it relates to the question that as it currently stands the companies have no intentions of halting our sea transport services to the region and in particular St. Maarten.
“We have not received any transport restrictions from the US Customs & Border Protection Services and to date haven’t received any transport restrictions from the Government of St. Maarten and/or its representatives.
“Our company and its affiliates are taking the necessary precautions and screening protocols as such to date we have remained unhindered by the COVID-19 and have had no reports nor incidents.”
Marsea Agency that represents Seaboard Marine Lines has informed Port St. Maarten that they do not foresee any delays or issues in the next few weeks due to the current situation with the corona virus. “Our vessels will keep calling weekly and we have not heard any concerns from suppliers’ side neither.”
The port is working closely with the Government and all stakeholders to ensure the protection of the local population where it concerns infectious diseases.
Public health protocols are in place at Port St. Maarten that are based on local health regulations related to infectious diseases as well as International Maritime Organization (IMO) international health rules and treaties that concern the safety and well-being of the local population, the ship’s crew and port handlers with respect to sanitation and protocols for handling infectious diseases.