Ninety percent of the goods coming into the island passes through the Port Authority of Guam and while there is a scarcity of some products on store shelves, PAG General Manager Rory Respicio says that the port’s productivity remains high.
When the pandemic first hit Guam, many island residents rushed to the store to stock up essentials like toilet paper, bleach, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant sprays … pretty much wiping out store shelves.
PAG General Manager Rory Respicio says early on, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero already met with key stakeholders in the food and commodity industry. What was communicated to the governor is that for as long as the port remains operational these stakeholders would do their best to keep shelves stocked.
“If the people are seeing that shelves are not stocked, then admittedly that’s because of the supplier and wherever they are getting it from,” Respicio said.
A supply chain disruption is most likely a cause of unusual or over-demand, an issue seen around the world.
“Now there seems to be a good supply of hand sanitizer on the market. We are still seeing items like the Lysol wipes having some scarcity. Suppliers will say that they’re having a hard time from the source of those products but it’s not necessarily having to do with the supply chain,” Respicio said.
On the port side it has been pretty smooth sailing in terms of productivity.
“We are not seeing any delay from the port’s perspective. Actually our productivity remains high. What once took 36 hours to discharge a Matson vessel years ago, the guys are now doing that at 18 to 19 hours average. And the same kind of momentum is still there in terms of how they are doing in this COVID-19 environment,” Respicio said.
He added that container throughput at the port is still holding its own despite the pandemic.