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CSA and MIT collaborate on training

A new approach to container operations


In March this year the Caribbean Shipping Association collaborated with Panama’s Manzanillo International Terminal to present a training event for terminal operators from the Caribbean Region.

Entitled ‘Container Operations – a new approach’, the course was presented over six days. Two groups were accommodated in two courses (4th to 9th March and 11th to 16th March).


In the first five days, participants covered security, safety, documentation, gate operations, stevedoring operations, crane department (overview), equipment assignment, vessel planning, yard planning and traffic control. The final day was reserved for a tour of the Panama Canal.

Training groups were kept small to allow the presenters, provided by MIT, to adopt a hands-on approach. This allowed participants to get close to the technology. Emphasis was placed on specific differences between day and night operations. Participants were exposed to techniques and strategies for achieving high productivity levels during night operations.


Comments were solicited from all participants. The following were received:

The programme highlighted the importance of planning, communication/coordination, and safety in pursuing port/terminal productivity goals. The balance between classroom sessions and field visits/discussions was spot-on and the use of MIT instructors with the requisite practical/hands-on knowledge and experience in their respective fields invited much discussion, particularly on a number of useful principles/ideas that could be easily emulated at our facilities, irrespective of our relatively much smaller operations. All in all, an excellent training programme.
Julian Archer

I would like to start by saying thank-you to the CSA and the Manzanillo International Terminal for collaborating to bring such an informative and educational training course in modern port and container operations to the Caribbean. This course was timely and I have since then started to incorporate in my operations some of the techniques and skills I have learnt such as safety practices, claims management, equipment and gear repair and maintenance and operation preparations. Many thanks again to CSA and MIT.

Vernon Elliott
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to both CSA and MIT for the amazing training experience. The field exercises and the theory classes were incredibly interesting and the personnel were kind, patient and always willing to share their knowledge. The course coordinator was really helpful and the instructors were top-notch. The whole experience was an eye-opener for me because we were able to see how a First World port should operate and, hopefully, I will be able to share this experience with my co-workers and colleagues in my country, Venezuela.
Miguel Arreaza

Very informative and exceeded my expectations. Coming from a small port like Barbados and given the opportunity to be a participant has broadened my view as it relates to a technology-driven port resulting in high productivity. Some of the systems and info received have been submitted to management so as to improve our service to our customer/shipping agents. I would hereby request that such
training be continued to enhance the tools needed in a productivity-driven port.
Leonard Belmar

My experience in Panama and at MIT is one that I will never forget. The exposure that we got to port operations largely surpassed any that I had been exposed to before. The planning and execution of vessel operations at MIT can easily be the blueprint for vessel operations worldwide. The first two days at MIT convinced me that I was in the midst of a unique and superior port terminal. The knowledge that I got from the instructors has clearly positioned me to make some positive changes to the way we conduct our vessel operation at my home port of SCASPA, St. Kitts. I thank the CSA for extending this most vital and timely training that I am sure will assist me into advancing my home port into a more safe, efficient and profitable entity. The collaboration between CSA and MIT was a match made in port heaven. I am most grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to be the recipient of such vast knowledge and exposure. I will appeal to the CSA to continue providing such trainings as it could only lead to the betterment of ports in the region.
Kervin Freeman