Transition to full Free-Out Port well advanced

2024 February 21: Well on the way in transitioning to a full Free-Out Port, Barbados Port Inc. (BPI) further reduced its container handling charges at the Port of Bridgetown by 7.5 per cent, effective February 1, 2024, a move welcomed by the Shipping Association of Barbados (SAB).

This move is in addition to the reduction of container-related port charges by 10% announced April 6, 2023. At that time, the Chief Executive Officer, David Jean-Marie announced that, effective April 9, 2023, BPI would be transitioning to a full Free Out Port and that stevedoring services will be moved ‘in-house’ to be performed by port labour.

Anthony Branker

The President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Anthony Branker also came out in support. He said the Chamber supported the move as it would not result in an increase in cost to importers but rather a minimal cost saving by the 10% savings in port cost.

Erica Luke

SAB President Erica Luke, in welcoming this most recent adjustment of port charges at the Bridgetown port, said the SAB welcomed any measure that softens the impact of global disruptions.

In response to a query from Portside Caribbean, the SAB President said: “Within recent years the shipping industry has faced disruptions on the global scale: the Covid pandemic, Panama Canal drought, now and security tensions that have disrupted trades and Ports. The region is not immune to these global disruptions, and consumers have felt the impact in the cost of living. In April 2023, the BPI announced the change to a full Free Out Port. Economic reports and consumer feedback indicated that the initial pricing did not result in any significant cost savings to the public. The Shipping Association of Barbados therefore welcomes the recently announced adjustment of port charges and any measures to address the cost of living and final cost to consumers.”


The expectations from the transition to a full Free Out Port, as expressed in April 2023, include:

Improved efficiency and productivity of port operations

Reduction of container-related port costs to customers

Lower Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) value and consequentially lower imposts.

Streamlined billing arrangements. []

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