Port St. Maarten updates Caribbean Shipping Association AGM about State of Affairs

FILE PHOTO: Cargo operations underway at Port St. Maarten post-Hurricane Irma.


PORT ST. MAARTEN – Port St. Maarten has sent a message to members of the Caribbean Shipping Association’s (CSA) 47th CSA Annual General Meeting (AGM), Conference & Exhibition, hosted by Barbados Port Inc. and the Shipping Association of Barbados.

Port St. Maarten Management provided a post-Irma/Maria update report that was read out at the 47th CSA AGM to shipping executives, shipping personnel such as agents, customs and maritime authorities, port and terminal operators and shipping agents from more than 20 countries from across the Caribbean, North, Central and South America and Europe.

Part of the report reads: “Prior to the arrival of Hurricane Irma, Port St. Maarten implemented its 2017 Hurricane Preparatory Facilities Plan.  All facets of the plan were executed and the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facilities were made hurricane-ready.

“Despite all the pre-hurricane preparations that went into safeguarding the facility, Port St. Maarten experienced substantial damages to the property and infrastructure due to this unprecedented Category 5+, but we continue to prevail.”

The report concludes, “Even with the constraints Port St. Maarten has been able to maintain its hub function notwithstanding the adversity post Irma and Maria, ensuring that relief and humanitarian supplies not only for Country St. Maarten, but also for the neighboring islands, are efficiently and optimally being handled through the Ports solid infrastructure.

“As such with resiliency, arduous work and the support of everyone, St. Maarten and the region as a whole can not only rebound, but overcome this adverse circumstance in moving forward together.”

The three-day AGM included discussions on the future of the industry, environmental protection advocacy, compliance and regulatory topics. Time was set aside for networking activities, allowing participants to initiate contact with potential partners.

Day one of the conference commenced with an opening ceremony. The day concluded with personnel addressing issues related to the development of the regional maritime sector.

On days two and three, the conference dealt with presentations by international and regional maritime sector leaders. This allowed delegates a chance to hear the most up to date information on various industry trends and concerns. This included topics such as port & cyber security, port privatisation, technology, the growing presence and influence of mega-carriers and liner consolidations, and the resultant fierce competition among ports.

The 47th CSA AGM started on October 9 and concluded on October 11.  It took place at the Hilton Barbados Hotel, in Bridgetown.

CSA was established in 1971 to facilitate development of an efficient, viable Caribbean shipping industry. Since then, the Association has become the voice of the region’s shipping industry and a major regional forum in which matters relevant to the growth and development of Caribbean shipping are discussed.

The CSA represents its membership in relevant regional hemispheric groupings, associations and organizations – governmental, multilateral and private sector; and maintains Observer status with leading Caribbean multilateral bodies CARICOM and the Association of Caribbean States.

Caribbean Shipping Association represents private and public-sector interests across the entire Caribbean area, including South, Central and North American ports; in all four major language groups – English, French, Spanish, and Dutch. The CSA uses English as its official language.

CSA membership includes 12 national shipping associations and over 100 individual member entities, including port authorities, terminal operators, shipping agents, shipping lines, tug and salvage companies, consultants, freight forwarders, leasing companies and others.