From left: IT Partner Owner and Managing Director Rob Jordan, Port St. Maarten Terminal and Cargo Division Head Roger Lawrence, CSA General Manager Fernando Rivera, Caribbean Software Solutions Business Unit Manager Pascalle Wong-A-Foe
and Port St. Maarten Operations Analyst Keevan Gipson.
PHILIPSBURG–Representatives of Port St. Maarten joined the more than 300 delegates attending the Caribbean Shipping Association’s (CSA) 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM) Conference and Exhibition which took place in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from October 7-9.
The AGM was an opportunity to share expertise and ideas and to promote the latest developments and innovations from across the world of shipping, said Port St. Maarten in a press release. According to the port, the AGM brought together shipping experts from academia, industry, government and service providers of shipping and maritime products and services.
One of the top conference topics was digitalisation and cybersecurity, said the port. Delegates explored how digitalisation will contribute to the shipping industry’s future. Workforce transformation and the new technical skills that will be required of maritime workers were also discussed.
During the AGM, delegates were also informed about sustainability. This was brought forward in the sessions, “Oceanic Awakening: Sustainability and Stewardship Actions” and “Climate Change: Game Changer for Caribbean Ports.” In addition to building more resilient infrastructure, this effort also calls for strengthening institutions, systems and regulations to adequately address vulnerabilities, said the port.
Port St. Maarten said it plans to introduce a Port Community System (PCS) next month that should enhance cargo handling for stakeholders and customers. The PCS involves data-sharing among stakeholders covering cargo and cruise operations at the port. As an extension of the port’s Terminal Operating System, it will link cargo manifests, incoming/outgoing vessels, warehouse/storage handling systems and receiver pick-ups, according to the port.
“The first phase of PCS will be launched and St. Maarten is at the forefront of digitalisation. At this year’s AGM, we learnt that more advanced digitalisation of the maritime industry is underway and this reassures the port’s long-term strategic planning in digitisation and more inclusive data centre platforms is the way to go.
“Over the past months we had very productive sessions with various stakeholders who are all very excited to see PCS be launched in the coming month. We gave a live demo [demonstration – Ed.] of the whole workflow for an arriving vessel and emphasised on the focus for each stakeholder. After the session the feedback was very positive that we received from cargo agents, Immigration, Customs and Maritime Affairs.
“The port’s soon-to-come-online PCS is also in line with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic FAL which allows the shipping process to move more quickly, more easily and more efficiently.
“According to the IMO, statistics show that countries with more efficient FAL infrastructure have better import and export figures. This, again, reassures us that we are heading in the right direction with PCS and making the right investment calls.
“Port St. Maarten’s Cargo Division is also looking to close the year with double digit growth in transhipments and similar numbers in local cargo movements. Next year we are expected to have above normal cargo activities,” said Port St. Maarten on Thursday.
CSA was established in 1971 to facilitate the “development of an efficient, viable Caribbean shipping industry,” according to CSA’s website. Since then, the association has become a voice in the region’s shipping industry and a major regional forum in which the growth and development of Caribbean shipping are discussed.
CSA members include 12 national shipping associations and more than 100 individual member entities, such as port authorities, terminal operators, shipping agents, shipping lines, tug and salvage companies, shipping consultants, freight forwarders, and leasing companies.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/91816-port-attends-csa-meeting-to-launch-pcs-next-month