The minister with responsibility for operations at the Bridgetown Port said on Wednesday that all necessary steps will be taken to ensure the safe delivery of personal cargo in time for Christmas.
Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey sought to give that assurance as he acknowledged concerns raised by members of the public about having to endure long delays to get their barrels and packages.
He told Barbados TODAY there has been a significant increase in the amount of cargo at the port, as is customary during the holiday season, and authorities have already made adjustments to meet the increased demand.
“We are facilitating obviously increased containers,” he said and explained that the delay could also be blamed on the process that is required for clearing shipments. “In Barbados, we now scan all the containers, so we have to scan and make sure that Barbadians are safe. So we are doing that as well.”
Humphrey, who appealed to Barbadians to be patient, expressed confidence that barrels will be delivered on time.
“So, I am asking Barbadians to bear with me. We are going to have to bring on additional staff to be able to run the overtime hours we are working now, but we are working to facilitate production in the port so that Barbadians can have a proper Christmas,” Humphrey said.
The Minister said Port operations were running at full steam and it was prepared to also open on weekends to ensure customers are served.
“We have done it before to facilitate the business side of things and, of course, for the consumers, we are prepared to do it as well. So, I think Barbadians can rest easy, you will get the containers, you will get the barrels provided they came in at a proper time,” Humphrey said.