Bermuda Container Line Announces Port Move
Tuesday November 26th. 2013. Hamilton Bermuda. Today Neptune Group Limited announced the decision to move Bermuda Container Line’s terminal location from New York to Philadelphia. The move comes after two years of extensive research, financial modeling and importer, shipper and stakeholder input. The terminal move is anticipated to be accomplished in late February 2014. In separate information sessions hosted in Bermuda for shareholders and importers the company explained that BCL is currently the smallest operator in the Port of New York and expenses at the Port Elizabeth terminal have steadily increased over the years to the point where continued operation is no longer economically viable.
BCL announced that it has decided to move its operation to Holt Logistics Packer Avenue terminal in Philadelphia as Holt will provide viable stevedoring rates, fast load and discharge capabilities, efficient and dedicated gate service, ongoing transshipment connections, break bulk and project cargo capabilities, chill and freezer facilities, as well as a full logistical support capability to enable importers to access the wealth of suppliers in the Philadelphia and other markets in the region.
Bermuda Container Line has been operating from the Port of New York since 1979 and fully anticipates that it will be able to continue and improve on the service it has provided to its customers in the New York area for the past 34 years. Philadelphia is located 90 miles south of Port Elizabeth and is readily accessible via major interstate highways. In terms of service BCL’s MV “Oleander” will depart each Friday at noon instead of 4.00 pm to preserve the important late Sunday delivery of refrigerated and priority containers to the island (the winter arrival schedule will remain the same with an early Monday arrival).
Chairman of the Board John Wight commented “We are keenly aware that Bermuda has imported goods through the Port of New York for several decades and that importers have strong commercial relationships in place. Moving BCL’s departure point South to Holt Terminal in Philadelphia required careful due diligence and engagement with stakeholders. We have worked closely with KPMG over the past year to analyze the impact of the port move and plan for a smooth transition”
He said “Volumes to Bermuda have fallen every quarter since 2008 and like most Bermuda companies we are forced to focus on expense management. The Board is confident that the move will enable BCL to maintain operational profitability while continuing to offer importers the premium service that they have come to expect. “
President and CEO Barry Brewer added. “In New York BCL was a very small fish in a very big pond. Our ability to deliver the level of customer service that is required and deserved by shippers and importers was challenged. We look forward to personally introducing BCL customers to a renewed level of service quality without the need to raise rates. We also look forward to providing dedicated resources to customers to assist with transition planning and access to Philadelphia’s robust export community”.
Bermuda Container Line is a Neptune Group Limited company. Bermuda Container Line Limited was formed through the direct investment of Bermuda importers in 1979 and its vessel(s) named MV Oleander have delivered approximately a quarter million containers to the island. BCL maintains a wide ranging network of agents throughout North America to allow it to provide full container load intermodal services between Bermuda and key centers on the North American continent. Through carrier agreements with a number of major shipping lines, BCL also connects Bermuda with the world. Neptune
Group Limited has over 500 shareholders and owns: the container RO/RO vessel M.V. Oleander, Bermuda Agencies Limited in the United States and is a fifty percent owner of Somers Isles Shipping Ltd., a biweekly service between Fernandina Beach, Florida and Hamilton.