By Wes Wolfe
April 22, 2022
The freight’s there, it just needs someone to take it.
“The tonnage is off this month versus the last two months, and we had a classic case of what I explained before of ships running behind schedule,” Ragucci said at the last OHPA meeting in Yulee. “We had two paper ship loaders that were supposed to be in, in March. They both got delayed by stevedores in other ports.
“We had one of them already in the first week of April. So, we had no paper-loading ships in March. We have three pulp ships in April — one of them was supposed to make it in March. They fell behind schedule then because of delays at other ports. So, scheduling is becoming more and more erratic, but … basically four ships that didn’t show up in March are already going to be here in May.”
Once the ships come in, he said the Port’s tonnage numbers will look better.
“It’s just the ebbs and flows of the schedules,” Ragucci said.
The freight’s there, it just that needs someone to take it. Meanwhile, the Port is increasing its warehouse space with a metal-framed, fabric structure. The fabric is supposed to be, according to the specifications, 22-ounce, flame-retardant PVC vinyl with a polyester scrim.
“We’ve sent some language to (OHPA attorney) Patrick (Krechowski) with some language to advertise for the bid,” Ragucci said. “He’s in final review.”
Krechowski marked up the document and sent it back to Ragucci with edits and questions, he said. He added that he’d make the final changes to the language after the meeting and send it back around for final approval.
“I do think the board needs to vote on it before it goes out,” Krechowski said.
Ragucci suggested the bid shouldn’t be out for long, as there are only a handful of companies that could provide that type of building.
“Ten days,” OHPA Chairman Danny Fullwood said. “We’ve delayed this thing long enough that we need to get that warehouse done. Ten days — you get it out there, within 10 days, someone’s going to bid on it.”