Sun | Sep 24, 2023

Caribbean maritime executives chart sector’s future at regional conference

Published:Tuesday | May 2, 2023 | 12:58 AM
Mayor of Broward County Lamar P. Fisher (centre) and Port Everglades CEO and port director Jonathan T. Daniels (second right) accept a token from the Caribbean Shipping Association’s executives (from left) Vice-President William Brown; President Marc Sam
Mayor of Broward County Lamar P. Fisher (centre) and Port Everglades CEO and port director Jonathan T. Daniels (second right) accept a token from the Caribbean Shipping Association’s executives (from left) Vice-President William Brown; President Marc Sampson, and General Manager Milaika Capella Ras.

NEARLY 300 delegates have converged for the 21st staging of the Caribbean Shipping Executives’ Conference (CSEC), which began in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Monday (May 1).

The two-day event is Caribbean Shipping Association’s (CSA’s) mid-year conference and is being staged through partnership with Port Everglades at The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort.

President of the CSA, Marc Sampson, in his opening address, said the conference provides an opportunity for industry members to engage in productive discussions that will assist with addressing the challenges faced, identify opportunities for growth and development, and strengthen networks and partnerships.

Sampson said the CSEC focus areas are reflective of the prevailing circumstances within the shipping and logistics industry, particularly the session’s focus on decarbonisation, which will play an increasingly important role in the sector’s future. “I am committed to working with our members, partners, and stakeholders to promote the growth and sustainability of the regional shipping industry,” he concluded.

On the matter of decarbonisation and sustainability, CSA General Manager Milaika Capella Ras said the association’s recent memorandum of understanding with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) represents a significant milestone. The three-year agreement aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of the shipping industry, strengthen economic and social development of the region, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of maritime transport-related activities and services.

Capella Ras said the partnership, which includes collaborating on two panels at the conference, will encompass decarbonisation studies, capacity building activities, labour affairs, gender inclusion and institutional strengthening.

The keynote address was delivered by Simon Cohen, founder and chief executive officer of Henco Logistics, who spoke on ‘Happy Performance, Happy People’. Following a health scare, he encouraged attendees to ensure that, in times of crises, they safeguard relationships with their family, friends and protect their physical well-being.

Other presenters on the initial day were master mariner Captain Sukhjit Singh, who shared on ‘The Impact of Decarbonisation on the Shipping Industry’s Competitiveness’, moderated by Juan Carlos Croston, vice-president at Manzanillo International Terminal.

Dr Jan Hoffman, head of Trade Logistics at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, spoke on ‘The 2020-2022 Maritime Supply Chain Crisis: Causes, Impacts, And Lessons Learned for the Future’, in an engaging presentation moderated by Jennifer Nugent Hill, director of governmental and community affairs at Tropical Shipping.

The matter of security and data privacy was explored by technology advisor Glaister Leslie and John Gibson, chief executive officer of PROTECTIFIQ Data Protection and Cybersecurity, in a session moderated by Frances Yeo, chief executive officer of software company ADVANTUM.

There was also an IDB-presented panel discussion on ‘The Caribbean As Platform to Decarbonise Shipping Operations (Public Sector)’, which included Cherri-Ann Farquharson, capacity development and gender specialist at the Caribbean Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency; Nelson Mojarro of the International Chamber of Shipping; Augustina Calatayud, lead transport specialist at the IDB; Vivian Rambarath Parasram, head of the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre – Caribbean; and Carleen Lynden Walker, executive director and co-founder of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association. It was moderated by Roberto Aiello, IDB principal regional energy specialist.

The day’s proceedings were concluded with a presentation on ‘Paperless Processes – The Importance, Our Progress, and What Is Next …’ by Demóstenes Pérez, chief commercial officer at IPL Group, and facilitated by Rachel Matthews, general manager of Shipco Transport Jamaica.

The vote of thanks was moved by CSA vice-president and president of the Shipping Association of Jamaica, Willian Brown.

The CSA was established in 1971 and is the central voice for the region’s maritime industry. It boasts membership of over 100 individual members and 12 national shipping organisations, which represent interests in the private and public sectors across the entire Caribbean and South, Central and North American ports.