As our projects develop past the schematic design phase, the complicated shipping issues become more and more real. The AfH team is researching best options for shipping. The import process through Haiti's ports is extremely complex and difficult to navigate, that's why organizations, like the UN Logistics Cluster, have initiated a large effort to facilitate transportation through Haiti's various ports. We can also look to the UN Logistics Cluster to find information about free and safe local transportation for humanitarian services.
(For more information about what the Logistics Cluster is doing, visit: Logistics Cluster: Operation Haiti: Sea + River Transport Documents.)
OneResponse has supplied a great resource: Tips for Customs Clearance for NGO's. It is basically a summary of a meeting between the NGO Coordination Support Office and the UN Logistics Cluster. Although we have found a multitude of information about companies that are shipping to Haiti successfully (DHL Express, Chatelain Cargo Services, Amerijet, Haiti International Forwarding, Antillean Shipping Line, Mediterranean Shipping Corporation, CMA-CGM, Zim Line, Maersk, Seaboard, Crowley Maritime, Hapag-Lloyd), which is a challenge in itself, we are still in the process of determining the final cost of shipping.
So far, we have found that it takes about 4 days at sea to ship from Miami to Port-au-Prince, and we received a rough estimate for the cost of shipping: 4,000 USD per shipping container. The cost of shipping can be approximated fairly accurately, but the entry fees into Haiti's ports are so high and inconsistent that it makes it difficult to estimate the true total cost of shipping. Once we find more information and resources about entry fees (how much they are, what to avoid, etc.), we can decide if relying on shipping from the US to Haiti is a viable option for us.
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Meridimus
Original article on Students Rebuild