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President's Message

Need to keep abreast of industry trends and marketing initiatives

This issue of Caribbean Maritime marks the completion of the sixth year of publication and the first that I am associated with as President of the Caribbean Shipping Association.

As we enter the first days of the 2013 calendar year, we in the shipping industry will do exactly what this issue of the magazine does – peer into the future so as to get a sense of what lies before us in ‘the year ahead’. In so doing, we naturally hope for the best, but remain conscious that the economic challenges of recent times are likely to be with us for the next several years.

Passive attitude

As I stated in my New Year’s message to the CSA, rather than adopt a passive attitude, we should remain positive and proactive. We should focus on skills training; improved discipline; and on changing the work culture in order to improve productivity. In this regard, we need to identify regional expertise to drive training programmes and to improve the overall skill sets of smaller territories. At the same time, we need to ensure that our cost management strategies allow us to remain competitive.

Leading voice

The CSA must increase its relevance to all its members and particularly those in the smaller territories. Therefore, in the coming period, we plan to increase the value proposition. We also plan to take steps, as the leading voice on shipping in the Caribbean, to earn the recognition and respect of regional governments and organisations.

We will pursue greater collaboration to realise opportunities that are available to the Region, for example, the development of transshipment logistics centres and hubs for international commerce, especially in the face of the expansion of the Panama Canal.

The year ahead will bring its own sets of challenges, even as we continue to grapple with those left lingering from last year. However, even as we meet these challenges head-on, we will need to keep abreast of industry trends and marketing initiatives.

Grantley-STEPHENSONGrantley Stephenson

President, Caribbean Shipping Association