Port St. Maarten becomes benchmark port at Caribbean Port Management Workshop

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PORT ST. MAARTEN – Port St. Maarten Management and Operations representatives returned last week after attending the three-day Caribbean Port Management Workshop, organized and presented by the Port Management Association of the Caribbean (PMAC).

Port representatives dubbed this year’s first ever PMAC as a great success.  “Port St. Maarten had its opportunity to share to a well-attended audience of Port delegates and international associates their experience and their rebound initiatives that today has proven to be beneficial for the continued positive results we are currently experiencing for both cruise and cargo notwithstanding the steps still needed to be taken for full recovery at the Port in terms of infrastructure repairs.

“The key however is that we have a solid, structured and strategic plan to ensure we regain our full operational excellence platform once again pre Irma – Building back for resiliency and never wasting a crisis ensuring that best practices and lessons learned are properly documented within our response and recovery framework.

“Many delegates were impressed by Port St. Maarten’s quick turnaround to operational mode and will use Port St. Maarten as a key benchmark on what to do and how to execute – after such a catastrophic ordeal – especially looking at Port St. Maarten as a major cruise and hub function destination for cargo lines within the region.

“Port St. Maarten will continue working with our members ports and its PMAC membership in ensuring we have a pivotal positioning in the building of a regional disaster assistance and relief network working on an integrated approach center on one goal and one strategy,” Port St. Maarten representatives said on Monday.

The three-day event took place in Panama from January 22-24, and brought together regional maritime sector representatives who discussed a wide range of issues including last year’s destruction caused by several major hurricanes, and what technologies, systems and networks are now necessary to deal with future hurricanes.

Other entities that assisted with the organization of the workshop were Portside Caribbean and the Caribbean Maritime University. The Panama Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT) hosted the workshop that was held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.

The workshop provided an early opportunity to analyze and initiate plans and strategies ahead of 2018’s Hurricane Season.

PMAC founding started with an inaugural meeting in Antigua on 26 June, 1998, having succeeded the Port Management Association of the Eastern Caribbean established on 16 May, 1988.

The main objective of PMAC is to improve the proficiency of member ports and the quality of services offered to their users, specifically through the facilitation of relevant training designed to maximize human resources, and effectively meet the ever increasing challenges of the global environment.

Moreover, amidst developments within the maritime industry, the Association strives to remain relevant by providing critical services to members, which entail the sharing of experience, information and ideas, as well as advocacy and representation at multilateral levels.

PMAC’s mission is to foster operational and financial efficiency, and to enhance the level of service to the mutual benefit of Caribbean Ports and their stakeholders, through the sharing of experience, training, information and ideas.

Current membership includes port organizations from the following islands, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Saint Martin, French Guyane, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, Cayman Islands, Sint Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Turks and Caicos Islands.  There are also a number of associate members.