Tue | Jan 31, 2023

CSA has raised the bar for collaboration, says re-elected president

Published:Tuesday | November 1, 2022 | 12:07 AM
From left: General manager of the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA), Milaika Capella Ras; re-elected CSA President Marc Sampson; president of the Puerto Rico Shipping Association, Clarivette Sosa Diaz; and chief marketing officer of the Puerto Rico Tour
From left: General manager of the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA), Milaika Capella Ras; re-elected CSA President Marc Sampson; president of the Puerto Rico Shipping Association, Clarivette Sosa Diaz; and chief marketing officer of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Alexandra Ruiz.

Marc Sampson was re-elected president of the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA) at its 52nd Annual General Meeting (AGM), Conference and Exhibition in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Monday, October 31.

Sampson, who was first elected in January following a delayed meeting due to the pandemic, was re-elected unopposed during the association’s first in-person AGM since 2019.

President of the Shipping Association of Jamaica, William Brown, was returned as the CSA’s vice-president.

In his welcome to delegates, Sampson said the CSA is committed to engaging its members and stakeholders in its role as ‘the voice of the Caribbean shipping industry’.

“That engagement is perhaps the most understated benefit of these events. Behind the success of every business are people. People craft the workplace culture, champion the business and exceed expectations daily. At work and within the wider society, those people operate through relationships,” Sampson said.

“This conference is among the most important in our industry, and provides critical information on the current state and future prospects of the regional maritime sector. More importantly, it builds on the synergies and interactions necessary ,for us to collectively succeed.

“Two things can be true at the same time. We are collaborators and competitors. It is a unique position to be in, but at our core, we are a community built on relationships that transcend individual roles.”

He said that executing his role as president was easier because of the connections formed. “People want to be engaged beyond the traditional expectations of business. We want to be seen and heard and respected for our individual attributes as much as our professional ones. The significance of those bonds in business cannot be overstated, particularly in an industry such as ours where we all contribute to the greater machinery. The interconnected nature of the shipping and logistics sector does not allow us to operate in silos, nor should we have to.”

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to adjust and put customers at the fore of their operations, he said. “Having positive and authentic experiences are now primary concerns. The CSA, through its advocacy, mentorship, and training programmes, continues to put the experience of our members and delegates first. At a time when other organisations were quelled by the pervading COVID conditions, our association brilliantly rose to the challenge, sustained by the support of its members.”

Sampson added that the CSA continues to be a vibrant institution primarily because of the participation of its members. “We have raised the bar for regional collaborative activities that continue to bear tangible mutual benefit. Our strength comes from our member associations, organisations, and companies – and from each one of you. We stand with each other, and it is this unity which has sustained us.”

Renowned trends analyst Daniel Levine delivered the event’s keynote address. Noting that trends are shared changes in sentiment in a measurable direction, he said the future would be faster, and businesses must be ready to provide support at any time. Developing ways to make interactions faster, improving self-help sales and service will become more important with time, he said.

The opening day also featured a presentation from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regional coordinator Colin Young who provided an overview of the IMO’s goals, including its thrust to promote decarbonisation. That included its GreenVoyage2050 Project, which supports the maritime industry’s transition towards a low carbon future. Under the initiative, the IMO expects to reduce air pollution from ships, share operational best practices, and explore opportunities for low and zero carbon fuels.

The association also revealed that Trinidad and Tobago would host its next major meeting, the Caribbean Shipping Executives’ Conference in mid-2023.