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Barbados Port Inc. appoints CEO

cm18-Jean-MarieBarbados Port Inc. has appointed David Jean-Marie (pictured) as its new chief executive officer. Mr. Jean-Marie, who has been acting CEO since the retirement of Everton Walters in 2011, was confirmed in the post by the chairman of the board, David Harding, at the corporation’s annual general meeting on 18th September.

Mr Jean-Marie joined Barbados Port Authority in 1987 and held various posts there, the last as Manager, Management Information Systems. He moved to the Transport Board as general manager and returned to the newly corporatised BPI in 2004 as Financial Controller and Corporate Secretary. Elected Vice President of the Caribbean Shipping Association at its 42nd Annual General Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 15th October, he is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Barbados Scholar.

Trinidad Government Intends To Develop La Brea

The Trinidad and Tobago Government has reportedly agreed to the construction of a port at La Brea. 

Transport Minister Chandresh Sharma made the announcement in December, according to the country’s news media.

Speaking at a post-Cabinet news conference, Mr Sharma said the Government expected the new port would be completed by 2015. He said the Government expected total vessel calls to surpass 300 and the ports of Port of Spain and Point Lisas could not accommodate all of them. 

There is scepticism locally about whether this project will get off the ground. La Brea is on the south-west peninsula of Trinidad, 30 miles from San Fernando and 40 miles from Port of Spain.

In the past, La Brea has been used for construction and fabrication of platforms for offshore industry customers such as BP.

Containerships for Puerto Rico

The New Jersey-based company TOTE Inc – parent of Sea Star Line – will finance the $350 million construction of two eco-friendly containerships for Puerto Rico trade, according to the newspaper Caribbean Business. 

TOTE Inc. said the ships would operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG), generating 71 per cent less carbon dioxide than other vessels and significantly reducing particulate matter.

The 764 ft (232.8 metre) vessels will operate between Jacksonville and San Juan starting in 2015. Built by General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego, California, they will be designed to carry five times as many 53 ft containers as current ships in Puerto Rico with a significant capacity for refrigerated cargo including pharmaceuticals and produce. 

They are expected to be the largest vessels of any kind to be powered primarily by LNG. The contract between NASSCO and TOTE Shipholdings Inc., a subsidiary of TOTE, includes options for three additional vessels. The containerships will operate on either fuel oil or gas derived from LNG, significantly reducing emissions while boosting fuel efficiency compared with conventionally powered ships.

The new ships will feature a ballast water treatment system, making them the ‘greenest’ vessels of their size in the world. 

Construction of the first containership is due to begin in the first quarter of 2014 with delivery by the last quarter of 2015. The second ship is to be delivered in the first quarter of 2016.

Caribbean Feeder Services ‘rethinking’ its regional service

Caribbean Feeder Services Ltd. is ‘rethinking’ its regional service because of crippling vessel delays at the Kingston Container Terminal. Caribbean Maritime understands that CFS, backed by its partner and vessel provider Harren & Partner (H&P), has been in constant communication with the Jamaican authorities since early November about losses being sustained at the transshipment port. After 10 weeks of what CFS has described as ‘a crisis’, there were no changes or any announced plans to indicate that the situation in Kingston would improve. The H&P/CFS partnership therefore decided to put further investments in Jamaica on hold. According to CFS, “… we have more than 90 days of accumulated delays on account of the situation in Kingston since week 44 of 2012.”

CFS, a member of the Caribbean Shipping Association, moves a large volume of transshipment containers out of Kingston and most of its 12 ships visit the port. Eight of its vessels fly the Jamaican flag and H&P provides real-world opportunities to students at the Caribbean Maritime Institute who need to complete their training on board ships. H&P is also establishing a repair facility at CMI to provide further training opportunities.

It is understood that CFS correspondence about the matter was delivered to Jamaica’s Minister of Transport in January. Up to press time, however, a response from the Jamaican authorities had reportedly not been received.

Jamaica moves ahead with port community system

The outgoing President of the Shipping Association of Jamaica, Roger Hinds, has praised the SAJ for its ‘painstaking efforts’ in drumming up support for a port community system. 

Addressing members at the SAJ’s annual general meeting on 30th November, Mr. Hinds said that over the past four years the need for such a system had been accepted by stakeholders and two bidders had been shortlisted to enter a second round of tendering. The project has received technical support from the International Trade Centre in Geneva, the United States Agency for International Development, and the Inter-American Development Bank. The Port Authority and the SAJ have collaborated in the recruitment of a project manager to work full-time on implementing the system.

Wrapping up a four-year stint in the chair, Mr. Hinds told members: “Very rewarding is the fact that most agencies are now seeing the port community
system as central to the development of the Logistics Hub, and Cabinet approved
its implementation by the Port Authority of Jamaica working with Jamaica Customs and the SAJ. Based on the schedule that has been agreed, the system should be in place by the target date for the expanded Panama Canal.”

He went on: “The Logistics Hub project is taking on momentum and there appears to be consensus among relevant stakeholders, including Government and Opposition, on the benefits of pursuing this policy. Any criticism would have to be in relation to the pace of development of the approach to implementation, rather than to the acceptance of the need to implement.”

Jamaica promotes logistics hub to China, Singapore

Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton, spent two weeks in China and Singapore at the end of 2012 promoting the country’s ambitions to become ‘a global transshipment and logistics hub’. The project includes dredging Kingston Harbour, expanding port facilities and building a dry dock. It also includes a road and rail network linking seaports and airports.


*GRAPEVINE documents reports which have been made public or are being discussed in the regional or global shipping network, so as to provide a historical context for the articles appearing elsewhere in this publication. Caribbean Shipping Association, Caribbean Maritime and Land & Marine Publications Ltd do not endorse these reports, neither do we take responsibility for their accuracy.