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HAITI – SECURITY CRISIS (03/28/2024) LOGISTICS SITREP UPDATE V2

Logistics Sitrep MARCH 28
ER@priorityworldwide.com

Haitian civil unrest & violence has intensified in recent days after long simmering discontent with the country’s leader and inability to self govern. The PM is exiled from Haiti and has offered his resignation.

Airport Access

(HT) All international commercial scheduled flights to PAP/Port Au Prince Airport are currently suspended indefinitely. Insurance coverage for such operations is unlikely. Air charter access for evacuations or humanitarian deliveries is also highly unlikely presently due to security situation however there have been helicopter evacuations as well as offers of helicopter delivery between DR and HT smaller sites. Rumour of PAP airport re-opening in circa 7-10 days (TBC). PAP – once re-opens can receive widebody aircraft and freighters. CAP/Cap Haitien in the North is open & operational, with scheduled flights from Caicos islands continuing to land. Charter flights have been landing at CAP airport, mostly as pax evacuation flights, including airlines registered in the US performing government work. Runway- 2600m, only narrowbody aircraft can arrive & storage facilities are extremely limited. There is no deck loader to offload larger cargo aircraft & no significant cargo handling capacity. Security NOTAMS continue to advise air regulators to avoid Haitian airspace & airports. Air charter solutions exist ex USA and neighbouring island/airport hubs to CAP, SDQ and when it re-opens PAP.

(DO) Main international airport is SDQ-Santa Domingo with numerous international freighter, widebody and scheduled pax aircraft connections. There is also an international airport at Barahona (BRX – but with no scheduled traffic) with a 3000m runway closer to the Southern Section of HT. Some UN helicopter & cluster operations have operated from there. The other international airport to the North is Santiago de los Caballeros (STI) with a 2700m runway which welcomes mostly international narrowbody flight arrivals. No impacts on DO operations.

Ocean Access

(HT) The major container ports are at Cap Haitien (North coast), Port Au Prince and the Lafiteau Port (just north of Port Au Prince). Some mainline vessel liners serve both Cap Haitien as well as one of the Port au Prince ports, but also various smaller/regional liners/NVOCCs operating service from Florida. Cap Haitien Port is open and is still receiving vessels traffic. Port Au Prince port is not operational/overrun by gangs. Lafiteau port is mentioned as <operational> but overwhelmed, reports of carrier discharged containers but not able to move outside the port. Gangs control the roads into the Capital. Backlog and port congestion can be expected, and onwards inland access into Haiti is very complex due to security situation & road access is in disrepair between CAP and PAP region.. Everything will need to be checked on ad-hoc basis. There is also a port at Miragoane that the UN community has been able to serve by barge from DO although such barge services are not widely known about by the commercial community in Santa Domingo. Reports of some Haitian local barge owners who send vessels to SDQ Port.

(DO) Main ocean port is the Caucedo Port (West of Santa Domingo) owned by DP World. This is a modern port with significant warehouse and bonded facilities. Carriers coming from Asia/Europe/West Coast USA dock here. Port Haina, (East of Santa Domingo) is owned by the state and is modern with large warehouses also, but further from airport. Carriers from North America call here.

Overland Access DO to HT (Trans-Shipment Cargo)

Straightforward capabilities in Santa Domingo via airport/ports to transit cargo from DO to HT via bonded trucks. Bonded warehouses plenty, able to receive ocean containers and airfreight for consolidation and onwards transport to Haiti via bonded trucks. Unlikely that SSL will allow containers to travel to HT so cross docking into local flatbed with tarps or locally sourced closed containers leased on local market. It would be important to recommend closed containers to conceal food/humanitarian/medical shipments which would be major targets.

Main trucking route known to be secure is the SDQ to Northern Haiti / Cap Haitien region. Truck time is 8 hrs for trucks to the Dajabon border crossing which is open and functional but busy + media presence. All trucks crossing into HT are moved with DO truck heads to the border post. Upon reaching the border post, truck head detaches from trailer which is left at customs yard. The HT truck end enters DO and comes to collect the trailer from the yard, before onwards transport to HT. No DO truckers are entering HT. The trailer is returned back to DO side after offloading in Haiti. Road access into Cap Haitien + Northern region is secure but no access via this route into PAP and southern areas. The other trucking route is from SDQ to Elias Pina border, road to Port Au Prince which takes 6-8 hrs from SDQ. Elias Pina border crossing to PAP is currently not available as overrun by gangs and refugees. Any access would require security escort and none available currently.

Security situation will dictate how feasible overland aid operations will become. There have been some UN related convoys and discussions over helicopter services between DO and HT whilst airspace is closed. There are some known UN barge operations into Southern ports from DO but this is not widely known as a routing option.

Dajabon Site Visit Update 03/27/

Priority Worldwide ER Team visited DO and the Dajabon border crossing on 3/27/24 and has reported that trucks are crossing the border into northern Haiti. Heightened security and media presence at border. The routing via SDQ (air/ocean) and trans-shipment into Cap Haitien region is very viable. The in-bond transfer to Dajabon border crossing is straightforward, the trickier part of the logistics being import into HT. We have providers who can organise the trucking ex DO into CAP region and organise the truck head swap at border. On HT side we have brokers who can clear the cargo. The questions concern method of customs clearance. Usually the importers would need to provide a HT exemption document and our broker at border would use such document to clear & exit truck into HT. The feedback we are getting is that the process of obtaining a HT exemption document is not clear. This would be the same situation if we were directly shipping into a HT port for onwards transport. We would need to have open dialogue with consignees on the exemption process.

Overland Access HT to HT

We understand there is no established procedure to clear cargo at CAP arrival port either. Overland access from CAP airport to PAP area is restricted by roads being in disrepair, mountainous terrain and security situation closer to the capital. Our partners suggest (once Elias Pinha border open) that trucking from SDQ will be faster than from CAP region ! Roads from Lafiteau and Port Au Prince ports inland are blocked and overrun by gangs.