Private sector-led efforts to create a regional transport system interconnecting countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have given life to a new ferry service – Connect Caribe – promising not only passenger movement but the shipment of cargo.
Connect Caribe says that the Cargo Division will be able to move light goods, e-commerce packages, and agricultural produce across the region significantly, plus heavy cargo on the main cargo route.
CEO of Caribbean Israel Finance (CIF) and UN Peace Ambassador Andre Thomas is quoted as saying that the services that Connect Caribe will provide complement proposed initiatives by the Governments of Guyana, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.
“We are in talks with the governments… there is a significant discussion on how to integrate and tackle this huge opportunity and problem. I believe that where there are problems, there are opportunities. There will be significant collaboration between the service that will be done by the governments and our service,” Thomas said.
Connect Caribe views this as a game changer in the transportation industry. It indicated that the three vessels can transport up to 8,000 passengers, cargo, manufactured goods, and produce.
It forecasts that during the last quarter of 2024, the first phase of the estimated US$50-million project will come on-stream, following which it will be expanded to new island routes in the Caribbean Sea.
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