Port St. Maarten Crane Operator Romeo Gumbs Visits Brazil Port Fortaleza on Working Visit

Romeo Gumbs along with colleagues at Port St. Maarten Cargo Operations work area.


PORT ST. MAARTEN – Port St. Maarten’s Crane Operator Supervisor Romeo Gumbs recently returned from Brazil’s Port Fortaleza where together with local partners within the Port business, conducted a field investigation and analysis at one of top carriers CMA CGM ports within South America.

Romeo Gumbs, Crane Operator Supervisor.

The Brazilian Port Fortaleza, is part of a city with over two millions residents.  The port is one of the most important and strategic maritime ports of Brazil allowing goods to be shipped to North and Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia.

The visit allowed Gumbs to garner information about cranes, new equipment used with international partners, and operational matters that could be applied at home in continuing to build upon Port St. Maarten’s cargo operation of excellence.

Port St. Maarten Management is very proud of the achievements by Romeo Gumbs and the other personnel of the crane division.  “St. Maarten can deliver professionals who can operate at the international level.  We continue to invest in our human resources because this is key to the success of the port cargo operations.

“Port St. Maarten Cargo crane operations staff must ensure optimal vessel turn-around time in a safe, efficient and productive manner, and keeping within operational excellence for customers. The aforementioned is also key to attracting new businesses in order to grow the transshipment business,” Port St. Maarten Management concluded.

This experience for Gumbs showcased not only the expertise talent that St. Maarten possess, but also gave him the opportunity to obtain knowledgeable Intel to increase crane operational excellence back at Port St. Maarten.

Port St, Maarten Crane operations rely on local expertise to ensure container traffic and other cargo related activities are carried out in an efficient manner which ensures the ports esteem customers that it’s a reliable and professional service provider.

Port St. Maarten’s transshipment cargo operations have grown to double digits when one looks at the 2015 and 2016 figures of 12 per cent; provisioning numbers have also grown over the same period with a 32.5 per cent increase; overall total throughput has increased by three per cent over the same period.  Growth for 2017 is expected to continue on a steady pace.

Romeo Gumbs, started with St. Maarten Harbour Crane Company (SMHCC) back in 2009, prior to this he worked for a local stevedoring company at Port St. Maarten as a stevedore and checker. In 2009, Romeo was hired by SMHCC as a crane operator trainee.

Within a short time in service being trained with Global Port Training, the same company that Port St. Maarten is currently working with to set up a local training outpost in St. Maarten, Gumbs then easily and with much ambition became a full fledge crane operator.

Over the years Romeo Gumbs continues to hone his skills, producing some of the best productivity scores among his peers and becoming a role model to all existing and new crane operators under SMHCC. Gumbs has given a true meaning to operational excellence, Port St. Maarten Management said on Monday.

Gumbs, did not stop there, for years after accomplishing his various certification(s) and travelling to partnering Ports internationally, he always aspired to become more, and in 2016 was successfully chosen to lead the crane operator department being the first local crane operator supervisor.

Gumbs likes to share his experiences with others and on a yearly basis he continues to participate in careers days at various high schools building upon the awareness of Port St. Maarten and the important role the cargo and crane section plays in Country St. Maarten, as a port primarily importing cargo to supply the country nationwide and surrounding islands.

Gumbs is a firm believer that Port St. Maarten is heading in the right direction and continues to invest in their employees to be the best that they can be.  He believe there is challenges, as vessels are getting bigger, customers are much more demanding and rightfully so, however by continuing to stay abreast of the different trends, and keeping focus on operational excellence, Gumbs is convinced that Port St. Maarten will continue to see positive growth in the business.

Romeo Gumbs will be working closely with management and the training outpost, and he is aspiring one day to become a certified train the trainer for Gottwald cranes.

Back in July 2016, Port St. Maarten welcomed three new recruits to its division St. Maarten Harbour Crane Company after they successfully completed their certification course to join the crane team.  Four senior crane operators also took a refresher course and training.

The training was carried out by Global Port Training certified crane trainer Gunther Dierckx.  The crane operators work under Crane Operator Supervisor Romeo Gumbs.

The training took place using the port’s Gottwald Mobile Crane, the largest in the North Eastern Caribbean.

Port St. Maarten Cargo and Terminal Operations Manager Roger Lawrence pointed out that the cargo section at the port continues to invest in young local talent by inviting them to join the Port family.