PORT–Port St. Maarten has reported double-digit cargo growth in the first quarter of this year. This represents close to a 20 per cent increase in imports and double-digit increase in trans-shipment compared to first quarter of 2017.
Trans-shipment cargo continues to bolster the Port’s hub function in the Caribbean region and the double-digit-figure trend is expected to continue, said the Port on Sunday.
The number of cargo-vessel calls for the first quarter has grown by nine per cent and the number of barge calls importing dry bulk (e.g. sand, cement and other aggregates) has increased by 26 per cent.
The double-digit growth has resulted in the Port’s business partners and concessionaires responsible for stevedoring and trucking logistics, making considerable investments in newer equipment for a more efficient turnaround time where customers are concerned.
Intermar Group of Companies President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) George Pelgrim said Hurricane Irma had caused major damage to stakeholder infrastructure, impacting cargo vessel operations, terminal and warehousing logistics, port equipment and delivery of containers to consumers.
“By investing in new port equipment and building structures, our Group managed to alleviate this problem. We were forced to invest in brand-new containers and various other cargo-handling equipment. We are glad and proud to be a strategic partner in the rebuilding process of the country,” Pelgrim said.
Besides Port St. Maarten seeing double-digit growth in 2018, St. Maarten has to keep track of trends and developments in the shipping industry. Global seaborne cargo container trade accounts for approximately 60 per of all world sea-transported trade, which was valued around US $12 trillion in 2017.
The quantity of goods carried by containers has risen from 100 million metric tons in 1980 to about 1.7 billion metric tons in 2015.
“The transportation and shipping industry landscape is ever-changing where e-commerce is concerned. We are keeping abreast of the forthcoming changes in this digitalised era in order to stay relevant and to be able to continue to improve upon our operational excellence and to remain a competitive and successful logistical hub. In this fierce and competitive environment, we must never lose sight and keep our eye on the ball as the industry continues to evolve,” Port St. Maarten management said on Sunday.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/77947-port-records-double-digit-cargo-growth-in-1st-quarter