Decision to sail to Colombia with Dominican cargo solely that of Geest Line says DASPA

The Woodbridge Bay Port. File photo

The Dominica Air and Sea Ports Authority (DASPA) has refused to take the blame for a decision by Shipping Company, Geest Line, to change its schedule of calls to Dominica for the delivery and discharge of cargo.

Geest said in a letter to shippers earlier this week, that congestion at the Woodbridge Port in Dominica is unacceptable and that it would be coming to Dominica monthly, for delivery and discharge of cargo and fortnightly, only for container repatriation.

The company attributed its decision to “service issues” at the port and said it had been “instructed by DASPA to vacate the birth… although the vessel had not completed operation /discharge.”

It said DASPA’s decision had caused a ‘huge expense’ to Geest Line but more importantly, it had delayed customers’ cargoes that will remain on board for over a month.

However, in a statement, DASPA responded by pointing out that the Geest Line vessel which was scheduled to be off-loaded from 7:00 am on Monday October 15, 2018, was delayed by thirteen and a half hours and did not arrive at the Woodbridge Bay until 8:30 pm that day.

“A car carrier vessel which was scheduled to work at 8:00pm that same day was rescheduled to work on Tuesday October 16, 2018 at 7:00 pm to facilitate the off-loading and loading of the Geest vessel,” the DASPA statement said. “The Geest Line vessel captain was informed on arrival by the Port Pilot that that the berth was booked for another vessel at 7:00 am the following day, Tuesday 16th September, 2018.”

According to DASPA, the Geest Line vessel started discharging operations from 9:45 pm on Monday until 6:45 am the following day but there were challenges which hampered the discharge operations.

These included poor stacking of containers on the vessel, refusal by the vessel’s Chief Mate to shift three containers to facilitate a more speedy operation and intermittent rain.

DASPA also reported that eleven containers had to be shifted ashore and reloaded to facilitate the discharge of the break-bulk cargo and containers.

“The management of the Dominica Air & Sea Ports Authority did everything possible to assist the Geest Line vessel despite its lateness and the challenges experienced during that night operation to discharge its cargo for Dominica during the eight and a half hour period allotted,” DASPA said in its statement.

DASPA said it offered to further delay the car ship that was expected to berth at 7:00 am to allow the Geest vessel to resume and complete discharge of the remainder of its cargo. However, according to the Authority, the vessel captain chose to sail to Colombia, the next port of call.

“The Management of DASPA wishes to express regret to the consignees that their cargo were not discharged during the allotted time alongside the Woodbridge Bay Port on that day but the decision to leave port (Dominica) and to sail to Colombia with the cargo on board, was that solely of the Geest Line Management,” DASPA stated.

Geest Line has said that while the current situation is no longer acceptable, it will be reviewed once the port congestion issues are resolved.

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34 Comments

  1. Texas
    October 22, 2018

    The expansion of the Woodbridge Bay is long, long overdue. Asking a ship to vacate the Berth in a nation’s capital for lack of room in 2018 is a travesty. Can you imagine the amount of money the country could have made by instead charging the ship for over-staying? When will the people of Dominica become sick and tired of mediocrity? When will the government re-think the nation’s priorities? The Hospital is rotting, the roads have become shashcuts, the whole infrastructure of the country is falling apart and yet, thousands of dollars have been allocated to fund concerts for international artists, red-day, welcome home for useless doctorate and other vain and fleeting endeavors. People like to say, “so everything is the government fault?” well, a vision-less government will only deliver as much as the people are satisfied with, so if they are satisfied with coshonee and scraps….

  2. Gerald Smith
    October 22, 2018

    it is only a proper and well constituted commission of inquiry into this alleged, particular incident and the operations of the port generally will bring out the truth. What is certain right now is that we will be denied and starved of some basic goods for a period of time.

  3. SD
    October 22, 2018

    Did you notice the thumbs down you received?
    It’s not what they want to hear.
    They want to hear that a next government is going to come in, sprinkle some magic dust and suddenly viola. I do hope, for all the wants that they are working and fully prepared to pay all current taxes (which needs to be raised significantly for all the demands) as well as several new taxes. Oh but hold on, you mean someone have to pay?

    • Neville
      October 22, 2018

      What on earth are you talking about? You had to much of the red sevo already??

  4. Original
    October 22, 2018

    I could bet you this is not the first time!

  5. Bakes
    October 22, 2018

    It is interesting how everything is political. The ship turned up late as stated it was also a new ship which had containers in the hold and containers that where meant to be off loaded had been stacked below containers that were loaded in St Lucia. We have a small port and can only facilitate a number of huge ships. We are so comfortable with the lie’s of our colonial masters that we would rather take their word than look at the evidence presented to us. I sent items many years ago with Geest only to watch the boat come into port and the items return to England because they claimed the sea was too rough to offload. I was disappointed but what options did I have? Should i have blamed the port Authority? The Government?

    • Paul Rossnof
      October 22, 2018

      Excuses, excuses and more excuses…That’s what this government and it’s agencies is all about.

    • Jeff
      October 22, 2018

      Bakes, I agree with you in part. The congestion issue could be resolved if we decide to inform Tropical, King Ocean and CMA CGM, etc to warehouse their own cargo under LCL. It’s the Twenty First century, the port should not be warehousing LCL cargo. The port should be strictly for containers. With the removal of the sheds, you will have enough space for 500 more containers. Similar has been done for US Mail to Dominica removing the Aeropost and more off port compound.

  6. Illuminator
    October 21, 2018

    And I ask myself – do you have any hope for the country?
    Sometimes myself answers me, YES!!! AND at other times a deafening silence……

  7. looking In
    October 21, 2018

    We lost Ross University after plenty years,,,,,
    Look soon we will loose Geest Shipping As well.
    Look like all those long establish companies and businesses will soon
    leave one by one, and certain people’s pockets getting fat.
    What is really happening to Dominica? Eh lass

  8. Deleoncourt
    October 21, 2018

    The biggest laugh is that intermittent rain can affect offloading … rain? Water from the sky?not a storm but just some rain ?can stop work ?seriously ?

  9. %
    October 21, 2018

    I believe what Geest has said,and I don’t believe DASPA at all…
    Remember people that this DLP regime spoils everything it touches and supervises..The same thing happens when their cronies touch or supervise … It’s a curse that has befallen this regime,after maliciously doing wrong in our faced for so long .
    Skerrit Must Go
    Skerrit Must Go
    LAZY Skerrit Must Go Now

    • The Wizib
      October 22, 2018

      On judgement day I am going to tell God is Skerit that caused me to be a useless and wicked human, I putting all blame on Skerrit, lol. Unbelievable!!!!

      • %
        October 22, 2018

        He is already your false God,go straight to him.Dont wait till judgement day
        Skerrit Must Go
        Skerrit Must Go
        LAZY Skerrit Must Go Now

      • RandyX
        October 22, 2018

        You just keep on apologising for your corrupt master. Soon you will be singing a different tune!

  10. October 21, 2018

    The plan for the port was supposed to be all the way up to EH Charles that was back in 1978. However because of short sightedness it was reduced to half the size, it was built with no long term goal in mind.

  11. Real truth
    October 21, 2018

    Look at that view,how many ships can that port accommodate? ??I never see, those in the helm so backwards in there thinking n vision !! Hmmm all them grant money loan money whatever kind of money hmmm them business men need to feel it in order to put pressure on those responsible for lacking in foresight. ..boy Dominica wake up the coffee dry on you’ll look St.Kitts development like tower!! I vex all this does is point back to one direction lack of foresight. ..a port is a hub to generate income and create job opportunities !! Da throw away all you bread still

  12. Barrett
    October 21, 2018

    I knew this would happen I heard the CEO not heard he told me I’m a taxi driver he shifted the medical ship from the rcb to the port and he went on to say he told the ship they should leave by 7 am and they agreed and now they asking for more time because they badly park the containers so he told them to leave leave because they would have to put down so many containers to get those for Dominica and the medical ship need to birth in my mind I said that u are pushing away a constant money over one visit that sound silly as a ceo

  13. The truth hurts
    October 21, 2018

    We so backward, we cannot accommodate two vessels ?
    We so backward we cannot accommodate an international flight?
    We so backward we cannot take our family to a movie?
    We so backward we don’t have a proper hospital or health care?
    We so backward we cannot construct our bridges after 3 yrs?
    We so backward we cannot take our kids/spouse shopping at a mall?
    We so backward majority of our communities don’t have proper facilities for our kids to recreate.
    We so backward neither of the political parties have an answer.
    How sad.

    • dee
      October 21, 2018

      I self saying
      de ship go
      10 years from now when all de new medical complaints will be all over the Country Mister PM will be hiding in Morroco telling allu he didn mem kno .
      his chile dem safe in Merica though , they wouldn’t need no Chine medicine,
      De population of Dominica will be 15 thousand , 10thousand chine , and de rest clinging on to dere red shirt , ahhhh that is when China going to send crew to rebuild de country , boat loads of dem .
      LAND FOR SALE QUICK QUICK QUICK , I selling out moving to fields afar .
      I not in dat

    • Joseph John
      October 21, 2018

      So what are we doing to move away from this backwardness and move progressively forward. We do not have to be in government to do something. You just identified several opportunities that can be developed.
      So what are we doing about them. If we continue to sit back, criticize and complain and do nothing we certainly will not progress.
      When I read about the achievement of Robert Douglass in Portsmouth or J B Charles in Roseau I wondered why we cant operate in that spirit. Those two Dominicans were in opposition with government yet they advanced the government policies . They did not sit by and complain that they were not in government. When are we going to realise that if we do something progressive it is for our own good.
      A glimpse of the state of Texas fundamental attitude is that Texans want government and politicians out of their business. Independence for them means “leave us the hell alone”. Yet they are the most progressive state in the USA.

      • RandyX
        October 22, 2018

        Man, stop talking BS. I am growing sick and tired of your constant apologising for an incompetent government and now even trying to lay blame on others. Guys like you make me sick. You see all the wrong things happening and then spend hours to try and spin it in favour of your corrupt PM.

      • SD
        October 22, 2018

        Did you notice the thumbs down you received?
        It’s not what they want to hear.
        They want to hear that a next government is going to come in, sprinkle some magic dust and suddenly viola. I do hope, for all the wants that they are working and fully prepared to pay all current taxes (which needs to be raised significantly for all the demands) as well as several new taxes. Oh but hold on, you mean someone have to pay?

  14. St. Joe
    October 21, 2018

    It is also time to change the Captain in Parliament .
    Since 1978 this harbor was built , where is the extension that Skerro promised during last election campaign ?

  15. Independent Thinker
    October 21, 2018

    Dominica has gone down tobthe gutters. Last on everything

  16. Paul Rossnof
    October 21, 2018

    Lies again, nothing but pure lies. Geest is a very successful and professional company. Why would their standards slip all of a sudden and then conveniently coincide with the arrival of this Chinese nightmare. Skerrit is selling all your country to these communists right in front of all your faces!!!

  17. UKDominican
    October 21, 2018

    Of course the captain took the decision to depart as he did. After all he is in charge of his ship and not DASPA. But I also firmly believe it is the inept management of our port facilities that is the root cause of this fiasco.

  18. god told me so
    October 21, 2018

    Skerrit is the servant of his god and only does what his god told him to do. So in that case since the Chinese hospital was a god-SENT, everything had to get out of the way to facilitate the god sent Chinese hospital. So Skerrit the servant of his god gave the directives and Badwill had to do what the servant of his god told him to do AMEN

  19. Derek Galon
    October 21, 2018

    Simple – clean up the messes and chaos and overall bad managements at the port and Geest will return, or make me manager there! Whilst your at it fix up my road to my house in Giraudel.

  20. Professor
    October 21, 2018

    based on the structure of the port it seems we need an upgrade to accommodate the ships to berth more than one at a time.

    • dee
      October 21, 2018

      ONLY IN DOMINICA .
      de country going douvan derriere
      2 steps forward 20 steps backwards .
      but to be honess ” de geest ship” wasn’t God sent ein
      so anyfing possible
      I want to know if Geest coming back before Christmas ,
      I have my ham in dere wee .
      dow lookat me like dat , de abbort oir cannot make ham
      fankx in advance for all de thumbs dong .

  21. Child of Itassi
    October 20, 2018

    …and the Geest captain was heard shouting “Bye Felicia!”

  22. CRAPPY BUSINESS
    October 20, 2018

    BULL ….!! By now, we have to learn how to adjust to situations. The boat was late. There was rain. They didn’t want to move two containers. How many excuses do we have to hear? The man runs this place just like his home and with the same results. This is business!! People’s money involved! Your salary is safe and so you don’t give a rats. Plus, your nose and lips are firmly sealed so you know your job is safe. You have to change things to make it work. When you tell the man another ship has to come in what do you expect them to do? How about telling the incoming ship we will be delayed by about three hours? Then you take no responsibility for what happened!??! Make it work!!

  23. Die-ass-poorer
    October 20, 2018

    captain The ship is sinking. Captain the seas are rough….the oil pressure running low. Shall we abandon ship or shall we stay on it? Captain you tell us what to do

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