BEST Shipping said they “are taking every precaution to safeguard our customers, employees and business operations” and also asked “customers to be cognizant of some of the other factors that are causing delays in container clearance and delivery to our warehouse.”
A spokesperson said, “As the Coronavirus [Covid-19] situation continues to unfold we wish to ensure the public that we are taking every precaution to safeguard our customers, employees and business operations.
“Like many other businesses, we have employees who have been asked to remain at home as a result of the Covid situation in the schools and children being sent home. We support Bermuda’s efforts to limit any possible transmission, and we have had to make minor adjustments to the way we operate.”
President of BEST Shipping, Joe Vieira said: “The office located upstairs at #1 Canal Lane, Pembroke HM 02 is temporarily closing only “to walk-in customers” effective end of day today.
“This does not affect our warehousing operations and our Customer’s ability to collect their goods when they have been notified that their goods are ready for collection.
“In addition, we will not be accepting cash payments. Payment will need to be made online or by telephone with a credit / debit card. Please call 294-6223 or 294-6244 to make over the phone automated credit or debit card payments. Please note that as per existing Government regulations, we do require customers collecting freight to wear their masks and to use the provided hand sanitation stations.
“We, along with the other shipping and courier companies on the Island, are dealing with a significant increase in the volume of packages during this Christmas season. We also are asking customers to be cognizant of some of the other factors that are causing delays in container clearance and delivery to our warehouse.
“The recent labour interruptions on the Docks, followed immediately by a period of sustained bad weather, have caused a number of knock-on effects with the ships servicing Bermuda and this is hampering our ability to provide the customer service we are known for.
“For example, there are currently two ships in Port at the same time but due to Covid safety protocols, there is only one crew available to unload. The Oleander will not be unloaded until tomorrow and essential, frozen and refrigerated containers are being given unloading priority by the hard-working stevedoring staff.
“We are under the impression that the gates will open on Saturday, Dec 12th for pickup of Oleander containers only. You can be sure we will collect whatever containers are available for us and get them to the warehouse for unloading and customer collection on that day.”
“BEST is expecting the majority of their containers to come off the docks tomorrow and have additional resources scheduled to work late tomorrow in order to get these containers stripped and have customer’s packages ready for collection or delivery. The warehouse will also open Saturday Dec 12th & Saturday Dec 19th between 8:30am – 1:30pm for customers to collect their goods.
Mr. Vieira finished with: “Also, we would like to remind the general public that due to the disruption in the shipping schedules, there will be no ship next Monday so the additional resources we have laid on will be available to help clear any backlog – but that can only happen if we can get the containers to the warehouse.
“We work hard to provide a safe environment for our customers and our staff and I am asking our customers to try and be as patient as possible. We have a number of staff working from home, and as such they are not able to answer your telephone enquiries. If you have any questions please contact us via email as follows: Amber Lopes Alopes@best.bm, Vicki Sousa Vsousa@best.bm, Laura Blee Lblee@best.bm, Mike McCallum Mccallum@best.bm, Joe Vieira email@example.com.”
“Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to continuing our working relationship during this stressful time.”