CHARLESTON, SC — Sept. 13, 2019 — A group of port and maritime industry partners came together to send critical supplies to the Port of Freeport on Grand Bahama Island following Hurricane Dorian.
The hurricane wreaked havoc on the Bahamas. Thousands had their homes destroyed and thousands remain without electrical power or running water. Essential services are impaired, and many transportation routes are inaccessible. Access to food, water and household goods is limited.
MSC Group — one of the world’s leading container shipping and logistics conglomerates, as well as the parent company of MSC Cargo, the world’s second largest container line — requested assistance from major industry partners to quickly fill two, 40-foot shipping containers in Charleston, S.C., with critical supplies to send to the Port of Freeport.
Maritime partners, including S.C. Ports Authority, filled the shipping containers with over 200 gas generators, tarps, gas cans, canopy tents, power cords, extension cords, batteries, water, toiletries, baby wipes, diapers, cleaning supplies and other related items.
The containers were filled Saturday through Monday by industry partners in Charleston and loaded on a vessel in Port Everglades Monday night. They arrived at the Port of Freeport Tuesday morning. The goods are already being distributed.
“Despite our global presence and large-scale operations, MSC is ultimately a family company and we are fully committed to supporting both immediate and longer-term relief and recovery efforts in the Bahamas,” said Fabio Santucci, Managing Director MSC USA. “MSC’s extensive land and sea operations and services, our regional knowledge and our gracious partners have allowed us to quickly mobilize to collect and deliver these items of necessity. Together with our charitable arm, the MSC Foundation, we are continuing to work closely with local officials, community leaders and key relief and recovery organizations in the Bahamas to identify additional ways in which our MSC Group can support the immediate and long-term needs of the local residents and businesses as they look to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.”
MSC runs the Freeport terminal as a major transshipment hub through a joint venture with their subsidiary, Terminal Investment Ltd., and Hutchison Ports.
A group of industry partners contributed to the effort of collecting and sending supplies: South Carolina Ports Authority, U.S. Maritime Alliance Ltd., DCLI, South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District - International Longshoremen’s Association, Virginia Ports Authority/Virginia International Terminals Inc., Port of Miami/Miami-Dade County, Port of Houston Authority, TICO Tractors, Stevedoring Services of America, S.C. Stevedores Association, Maritime Association of South Carolina and Container Maintenance Corp./CMC Logistics.
“In Charleston, we understand the devastation a hurricane can have on entire communities,” S.C. Ports Authority president and CEO Jim Newsome said. "After seeing Hurricane Dorian’s distressing impacts on the Bahamas, we wanted to take action and send crucial supplies in the hopes of providing some relief.”
Supplies were purchased from Costco and Lowe's, with their extensive cooperation.
MSC, along with its partners, sent a total of 18 containers filled with supplies, including the two containers filled in Charleston. Additional contributions are being sought so that more aid can be provided. Those interested in supporting this effort should contact Chris Parvin or Jim Newsome.