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Caribbean shipping conference a success, say delegates
Published on May 19, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

MIAMI, USA -- Delegates who attended the 13th annual Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference (CSEC) have described the conference as “well-organized and excellent.” The conference, which was held over three days, May 12 - 14, 2014, achieved a record high number of delegates -- 232 from the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe.

CSEC is the mid-year conference hosted by the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA). The 13th CSEC was hosted in collaboration with PortMiami.

The conference examined key issues affecting the maritime community in the region. Delegates paid keen attention to the presentation from Maersk/Sealand regarding the renewal of its service in the region. Maersk announced in January of this year that it would revive its Sealand brand to take over the North-South routes and feeder services in the Americas currently run by Maersk.

Alfredo di Palma, Sealand’s chief commercial officer, said that the line’s aim is to gain 20% of the market through direct commercial efforts or vessel sharing agreements within the next two to three years.

Additionally, the presentation on the Panama Canal was well-received by the executives, many of whom are making changes with the expectation of new business to be derived from the opening of the expanded locks in the canal, which are expected to be complete by December 2015. These new locks are expected to reduce the cost per unit of cargo; improve productivity and flexibility of carriers; reduce CO2 emissions of cargo; improve competitiveness of the Panama Canal route and improve carrier’s network performance. The widened canal is also expected to impact the development of ports and land infrastructure in the region.

Also of great interest was the presentation on the cruise industry. Michelle Paige, president of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, stated that the Caribbean continues to rank as the dominant cruise destination, with 34.4 percent of all global capacity in 2013 and an estimated increase to 37.3 percent in 2014.

The growth in the cruise industry has been led by the increased capacity from new ships. In 2013 alone, there were 13 new ships adding 14,887 new beds from FCCA and/or Cruise Lines International Association member lines. Further growth is expected, as the 2014 - 2016 cruise ship order book includes 34 new ships and over 60,000 berths from member lines.

Delegates were also tuned in to presentations on Port of Miami -- looking at the Caribbean; the Benefits of Advanced Level Training in the Maritime Industry; how maritime domain awareness affects ports and shipping; new marine gas era; Maritime Insurance and Invasive Species.

The Shipping Executives Conference is the first of two conferences hosted by the CSA annually. The CSA, the voice of the Caribbean shipping industry, was established in 1971 to facilitate development of an efficient, viable Caribbean shipping industry. Conferences hosted by the CSA provide a forum in which matters relevant to the growth and development of Caribbean shipping are discussed.
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