CEO of the Dominica Air and Seaport Authority (DASPA) Benoit Bardouille, has said normalcy in terms of container traffic is beginning to return to the Woodbridge Bay Port since the passing of Hurricane Maria.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday morning he said the first container ship arrived on the island on September 23 and after that, more containers began coming into the island as opposed to those that were leaving.
“To the end of October we received some 1,163 20-foot equivalent units into Dominica and on the outward path, only 110 units left Dominica,” he noted. “So that can tell you what the story was in terms of the volume of containers that we received coming in compared to what was going out…”
He stated that the container traffic created a serious problem for the port in terms of storage and being able to make deliveries based on demand.
Bardouille noted that a helipad was created at the port to facilitate aid distribution and containers were stored in a limited area until the helipad operation was stopped at the port.
“But the containers did not stop. We accepted all the containers that came to Dominica despite the fact that at one time we were only releasing relief supplies but commercial cargo was kept on the port,” he said.
He stated that the port was connected to the electricity grid on November 10.
“And still we are grappling with some of our electrical pole-lighting that is still out but we are gradually getting there,” Bardouille noted. “And so at one time we could not work at night and had to operate only daylight hours. Now we have improved the system and we have that will allow us to work shifts at night, especially from the standpoint of the container area.”