The Caribbean Shipping Association’s (CSA) 16th annual Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference came to a close last week in Cocoa Beach, Florida, following thought-provoking and insightful presentations and ensuing discussions.
Photo: (Left to right) President of Florida Ports Council Doug Wheeler with the CSA's immediate past President Grantley Stephenson, Vice-President Juan Carlos Croston and sitting President David Jean Marie after the official opening of the 2016 Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference, which was held between May 16-18 in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
President of the CSA, David Jean Marie, thanked hosts Port Canaveral for their wonderful hospitality, noting that they provided the perfect atmosphere for the CSA’s members and conference participants to get first-hand information on some of the key issues currently impacting shipping in the region. These included exclusive insider information on Cuba’s development of its maritime sector, the latest on the implementation of the SOLAS container weight regulations and the growth and maintenance of the close relationship between Florida’s ports and Caribbean markets.
JOC.COM Report: Cuba’s Mariel container terminal has already planned its transformation into a major transshipment hub after the U.S. trade embargo ends, according to TC Mariel General Director Charles Baker.
In an address to the Caribbean Shipping Association Executives’ Conference held near Port Canaveral, Florida, Baker described surging growth at TC Mariel, its short- and long-term expansion plans and strategy to diversify beyond domestic cargo into transshipment.
The PSA International-operated terminal opened in January of 2014. Throughput at Mariel grew 35 percent in 2015, reaching 330,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units, and is up 29 percent year-to-date this year as a result of Cuba’s “booming” tourism trade, Baker said.
JOC.COM Report: Latin America and Caribbean terminal operators will face different national rules regarding the SOLAS container weight verification rule, adding another layer of difficulty to an already tricky process, according to speakers at the Caribbean Shipping Association Executives’ Conference near Port Canaveral, Florida.
The International Maritime Organization’s rule that all containers be accompanied with a verified gross mass before they are loaded onto a ship takes effect July 1 and unease is growing that the rule will impact container line operations and cause delays worldwide.
The Caribbean and Latin America will offer a unique perspective on how implementing the VGM measure will work because the relatively small region is loaded with bureaucracy-heavy governments — including several small, economically challenged, import-dependent nations with only one port — and regional shipping businesses that cross more than one border.