By Theresa Goodwin
The decision by shipping agency, Crowley, to discontinue services to the Leeward Islands as of October has had no adverse effect on Antigua and Barbuda.
Foreign Affairs Minister EP Chet Greene confirmed late last week that the remaining carriers in the country such as Tropical Shipping, Seaboard Marine and others have already started uplifting cargo that would normally be handled by Crowley.
“If you talk to traders, I don’t think there has been any adverse effect. Except for the increase in prices which is not a Crowley factor, it is part of a global reality of shifting and moving in the shipping sphere,” Greene said.
He, however, acknowledged that as the busy Christmas season comes around, it may mean that existing shipping lines may have to increase their capacity and possibly make an additional trip into the country to satisfy the demand.
Crowley’s final departure from Antigua and Barbuda and other Leeward Islands was on October 30.
In October, the company’s Director of Corporate Communications, David DeCamp, told our newsroom that only the Leeward Islands will be affected by the sudden discontinuation of its services.
The company’s spokesperson did not give a definitive reason for the pullout, but said then that “Crowley continues to serve the Caribbean region, as it consistently has for fifty years, including but not limited to the USVI, BVI, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and more.