BVI News


CTL explores other shipping options

Press Release: In an effort to speedily fulfill the building needs of the territory, CTL Home Center is engaging alternative shipping sources to supply customers after costly delays caused by the two major shipping companies – Tropical and Crowley.

Both Tropical and Crowley shipping companies are overwhelmed with aid deliveries from the US mainland to Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands and the increased demand for supplies by other Caribbean countries affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Managing Director of CTL Home Center, Michael Thomas stated that at least four of CTL containers were bumped off Tropical and Crowley ships within the last two weeks as a result of the priority given to products for Puerto Rico and USVI – their first stops before heading to other regional destinations. Caribbean countries like St. Maarten, Dominica and BVI are only allotted a certain amount of containers on each of the ships, he added.

“We waited for over 20 containers for a week and a half, including six containing T1-11 roofing plywood” and after a distressing search for a lost container of Sheet Rock (dry wall) “we found it sitting at Tropical shipping facilities in St. Thomas for several weeks.” Mr. Thomas continued.

This delay in shipments has resulted in empty shelves at CTL Home Center and general shortages of building materials, plumbing materials, electrical supplies and household products.

Mr. Thomas emphasized that it has been very stressful for the staff at CTL Home Center to continuously tell customers that we don’t know when the items they so desperately need will arrive.

“We are extremely disappointed with the situation the shipping companies have put us in, especially at our time of crisis. The people of the territory deserves better” said Chief Operations Officer, David Thomas.

To get the much needed supplies to the territory and his customers in a timely manner, Managing Director Michael Thomas reiterated that he will engage other shipping companies. He added that he expects the challenges with Tropical and Crowley to be sorted out eventually but he cannot wait any longer.

Mr. Thomas has also called on government to consider and positively act on Tropical Shipping’s longtime request to make arrangements for the BVI to become the first stop or “hub” for distribution to other regional countries.

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  1. Albion says:

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

    BVI a regional distribution centre? We can barely unload our own imports, much less act as a hub for the region warehousing and reshipping goods locally.

  2. Alas says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

    Over the past few weeks I have been reminded on many occasions due the devastation in PR and STT that BVI will not be a priority in the movements of people and goods.

    With CTL making it public, it is now confirmed on the goods parts.

    These hurricanes has exposed blatant vulnerabilities to the country. I hope that when the country assessment is formally completed these vulnerabilities will be included.

    Direct link air link to the BVI is a necessity (I am not going to debate the tactics on what the ruling party used to reach to the current situation). However, I am sure majority of us will agree that is a requirement going forward. There are other links we can use to reach our destination (Santo Domingo/ Antigua/ St Kitts etc.). The main issue is that the short flight will cost more from the BVI to these destination than the portion from the connection hub to the US. This needs to be worked on.

    Shipping has also been a major inhibitor of our development as business owners always claimed that it is the shipping cost that has product prices so high. Hopefully CTL and other major businesses that engage other shipping company to move goods directly in and out of the BVI. Most importantly, local also support by sending their goods to new shipping companies.

    I dont support the borrowing of any money to rebuild the BVI. I need to use what we have. if we dont have we just need to take baby steps like we did before.

    pay attention to Vultures.

    They have already set eyes on certain BVI assets as we are in a weak position.

  3. :( says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Fairly standard procedure, I think

  4. Well , Choice Is Key says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Will choose My Star Line to HanDle my cargo any day….SatisfaCtion Guaranteed.
    These other OPerators have changed hands so many times I don’t trust them to deliver the goods.

    Everybody is complaining

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