More than 90% of trade commodities come to Pacific Island countries and territories by sea; with imports dominated by fuel, industrial, commercial machinery and other natural resources.
But over the last two years the region’s ports have faced unprecedented challenges. Service has cut back on some routes as shipping companies focus on their most lucrative markets. Ports authorities and personnel have had to adjust to the inherent risks of being gateways for COVID-19 into their countries and outer islands. New handling and quarantine protocols have been implemented, adding time delays and expense. COVID has led to problems facilitating crew changes and staffing.
There are knock-on effects for Pacific producers. Some shipping companies . . .