Shipping of goods and cargo take place to, from and within Barbados via air, land and sea. The port of Bridgetown, a general services deep-water port managed by Barbados Port Inc, provides container-handling facilities, such as transhipment, logistics and stevedoring. Private stevedoring contractors carry out the business of loading and offloading cargo to and from ships. The Barbados Port Inc is the only employer of labour at the Bridgetown Port, and has an agreement with the Shipping Association of Barbados (on behalf of its member stevedoring contractors) whereby the port authority will provide the stevedoring contractors with all the labour they need. Container liner services operating out of the port include Caribbean Feeder Services, Crowley Liner Services, Libra, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), Seaboard Marine, Tropical Shipping and Zim.
The publicly operated Sir Grantley Adams International is the sole airport in the country, located approximately 13km from Bridgetown. The 2000–06 expansion project saw the development of a new cargo building, which includes timely courier services in addition to various airline support. Additionally, the country has over 1,600km of roadways, all of which is paved.
The country is a net importer – in 2010 imports of goods were valued at €1.6 billion, whilst exports of goods were valued at €0.3 billion. The main import partners are Trinidad and Tobago, the United States and Russia, with shares of 27.8%, 21.1% and 20.1% respectively (2010). The main export partners are Trinidad and Tobago with a share of 16.8% and Brazil with 16.6% (2010).
The main international operators offer next day courier services to countries in North America, and a two to three day service to those in Europe. Air freight services are accessible directly from air freight companies or via logistics companies. Airlines providing cargo flights include Amerijet International, Caribbean Airlines Cargo (operated by ABX Air), DHL Air, FedEx Express (operated by Corporate Air) and LIAT Quikpak.
The Shipping Association of Barbados, made up of ship’s agents and stevedoring companies, is the leading industry association in the sector and is a member of the Caribbean Shipping Association. The Ministry of Transport and Works in responsible for infrastructural development of Barbados, including responsibility for the road network. The Ministry of International Business and International Transport is responsible for the shipping industry.