Freeport Container Port cops prestigious CSA Container Port of the Year Award
The Freeport Container Port (FCP) in The Bahamas copped the prestigious Container Port of the Year Award presented by the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA).
The award was presented to the port’s management and staff by CSA President Juan Carlos Croston, General Manager Milaika Capella Ras, and chair of the Ports Award Committee Roland Malin-Smith, in Grand Bahama on Tuesday, November 30.
The Port of Caucedo in the Dominican Republic was selected as first runner-up, while Barbados Port completed the top three.
Freeport Container Port came out atop the competitive field for the revamped award programme which judges the ports over a two-year period, evaluating their most recent performance against the prior year.
Freeport Container Port CEO Alan Dixon, in an interview with Shipping Industry, said, “It’s a huge honour for our entire team to be selected as this year’s winner among our peers in the industry, who are also making strides in efficiency and technological advancement. At FCP, we take pride in being an innovation centre and a global trans-shipment hub. Equally so, we stand firm in our values of UNITY, and are proud to continually build on our corporate social responsibility to our team members and local community. We are thrilled to be able to hold this title in Grand Bahama, bringing more recognition to our hard-working, dedicated team and the island we call home.”
The awards programme, which is open to ports across the region, was overhauled to remove benchmarks and absolute growth numbers, allowing entrants to be assessed on individual merits across 10 key categories. In doing so, each port had an equal opportunity to win, regardless of its size.
Freeport Container Port scored well across the board, but were lauded for their performance in productivity, training, the environment and gender.
“It would be more than fair to say that we are a progressive team, and actually, we will continue improving our representation within the building; but I’m particularly proud that 50 per cent of our board is occupied by females,” Dixon said. “We prioritise and encourage training and development at nearly every level, and I think that has a couple of roll-on effects. It certainly sits with the effective transfer of knowledge, but importantly, it leads to some really strong succession planning and try to ensure that we have the ability to provide longevity to the business.”
Speaking at the presentation, Croston said FCP’s performance reflected a commitment to develop its facilities, invest in staff, and protect its people and the environment.
“We are really focused on safety; so not only the everyday operations of the terminal, but also the resilience of our equipment. So we have some highly technologically advanced remote key cranes that are designed specifically for the environment they are working in,” said Dixon.
He also noted that FCP has an “open-door policy” and that the port is willing to share its best practices with others, and to also learn from them. “If we’ve got something to share, then we will share it. I think it’s in all of our interests to collaborate in that way.”
Despite the recognition, Dixon said the FCP’s focus is on progress, not accolades. “It is a huge honour for us to have been awarded the 2021 Caribbean Shipping Association Container Port Award, and whilst retaining the trophy would certainly be nice, and it is aligned with our aim to see year-on-year improvements, we are not necessarily seeking awards. But the truth is, we are really focused on sustaining and growing our business, and we will continue to make meaningful contributions … the work continues.”
The CSA’s Port Awards Competition was created in 1987 to promote the development and increased efficiency of port operations.