The Port of Fernandina hasn’t suffered any ill effects due to the coronavirus, according to the port’s operating company.
“We haven’t seen any negative effects yet,” Worldwide Terminals Fernandina CEO Chris Ragucci, who also serves as port director, told the News-Leader. “I don’t want to prognosticate. I suppose it remains to be seen if we will.”
Ragucci said he has been receiving updates from the U.S. Coast Guard, including an order requiring crews stay on ships coming into the port.
The majority of loads at Port of Fernandina are going out, so there’s little danger of the virus coming in, he said.
“Product that comes in on a ship is usually in a container,” Ragucci said. “Our crane picks it up and loads it onto a railroad car or truck, so there’s really no handling of loads.”
Still, the port is practicing safety protocols laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Florida Department of Health.
There is a cruise ship scheduled to dock at the port later this year, Ragucci said, but that ship has not been confirmed.
The monthly meeting of the Ocean Highway and Port Authority, the governing body of the port, that had been scheduled for March 19 was canceled.