The Shipping Association of Saint Lucia (SAS) has responded to social media voice notes urging locals to stock up on goods because the major shipping companies have grounded their vessels due to fuel price hikes.
In a statement on Wednesday, the association declared that the claims were false.
In one of the voice notes, a woman declares that Saint Lucia and the Caribbean will receive no shipments of products from next week until December.
“We have heard the vile rumour,” SASL President Shem Glasgow told St Lucia Times.
“There is no confirmation whatsoever that vessels around the world are grounding their efforts due to the rise in fuel prices. In fact, when fuel prices go up vessels raise the freight cost for shipments and these costs of course affect the retail consumer. However, no vessel owner, no vessel agent, no carrier has stated that they will be grounding their vessels neither here nor across the wider world,” he disclosed.
Glasgow noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in shipment delays due to staffing issues at various ports and resulting congestion.
But he observed that the delays were expected.
“We are living in unprecedented times where everything is slower, more lethargic, but it has never ever created a delay where he stopped permanently,” the SASL President expressed.
“The world continues to move via sea freight,” he declared.
While encouraging Saint Lucians to spend wisely amid commodity price hikes, Glasgow also urged people to listen to news from reputable sources they could trust.
“Do not run with information via voice note and expect it to be factual just because it is spreading like wildfire,” he warned.