Woods: There have been no disruptions at the port
In an effort to keep the public better informed about the ongoing concerns surrounding food supplies in the Cayman Islands, Loop contacted Acting Port Director, Joseph Woods to gain further insight. Having spoken with representatives from two major Cayman supermarkets about supplies originating from the United States, we wanted to see if there were any COVID-related supply chain issues on the local front.
What is apparent from this discussion is despite the fact that borders have been closed since late March, the business of the port has continued as before albeit with safety measures strictly in place.
We thank Mr Woods for his feedback.
On whether there have been port disruptions due to COVID-19...
"Thankfully, we have had no disruptions due to COVID because we implemented the measures that Cayman’s Public Health advised us to."
On the safety measures that have been put in place at the port...
"Those measures include as little interaction between the crew and our staff as possible, with the crew remaining on board their vessels. At our Customer Service Counters we control the numbers to maintain social distancing, require persons wear face masks, we have harriers between our staff and the customers and we disinfect all contact surfaces after one customer leaves and before another arrives."
On supplying local supermarkets...
"We work all night and all day. The supermarkets are able to collect their containers as they arrive and those entities with less than container loads are able to collect theirs starting from the following day if they have been cleared by Customs.
Because we have managed the flow of containers very well, we have had no challenges with the containers. Our only challenge was warehouse space, but when the government granted us the ability to issue exemptions for entities and persons to collect their LCL cargo, we have been able to regain control of that.
I am grateful for and proud of the commitment and dedication of our staff. They have worked around the clock to ensure that all cargo ships were discharged expeditiously, all essential services (like medical supplies) and grocery importers could receive their cargo immediately and everyone else as they were ready for them."