Tue | Jul 23, 2024

CSA conference opens with critical discussions on industry challenges

Published:Tuesday | May 21, 2024 | 12:07 AM
Keynote speaker and corporate wellness specialist, Mike Veny
Keynote speaker and corporate wellness specialist, Mike Veny

THE CARIBBEAN Shipping Association (CSA) kicked off the 22nd annual Caribbean Shipping Executives’ Conference (CSEC) at the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon yesterday (May 20). Industry leaders and decision-makers from across the Caribbean maritime community are convening for two days of critical dialogue and collaboration.

The conference opened with remarks from Milaika Capella Ras, general manager of the CSA, followed by an invocation from Mark Williams of Kingston Wharves Limited. CSA President Marc Sampson delivered a thought-provoking address that highlighted the current dynamic landscape of the Caribbean shipping industry, emphasising collaboration and innovation as key drivers for future success.

Over 300 delegates are participating in the CSEC, engaging in discussions on a wide range of topics affecting the region’s maritime sector. The agenda included sessions on navigating industry trends, geopolitics, decarbonisation strategies, automation, and fostering well-being within the workforce. A dedicated session explored effective strategies to stimulate Caribbean commerce, while another delved into breaking down barriers for women in maritime careers.

The conference placed a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability. Attendees gained valuable insights into carbon-reduction strategies and best practices for minimising the industry’s environmental footprint.

Mike Veny, a renowned corporate wellness specialist and author, delivered the keynote address. His focus on emotional intelligence, psychological safety, and building a resilient workforce was well-received by the conference’s delegates, who were particularly engaged by his practical strategies to improve personal well-being, which can translate to their broader lives and their sector.

Sampson, in his address, said that Veny’s presence was timely given the association’s current focus. “The success of Caribbean shipping hinges on the well-being of our most valuable asset: our people,” he said, adding, “His insights will equip us to build a resilient and empowered maritime workforce ready to face any storm.”

The CSEC is not only a platform for knowledge exchange, but also for encouraging collaboration. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to network with peers and industry leaders and establish connections that can lead to future partnerships and collective action. Port Miami, a key sponsor of the event, hosted a tour of its facilities, further facilitating networking and relationship building.

The second day of the conference will delve into the impact of nearshoring and friendshoring on the Caribbean region, explore cruise economics, and address the ongoing challenge of achieving sustainability in the industry. Discussions on public-private partnerships in maritime security, risk-management solutions, and the impact of supply- chain disruptions will round out the conference programme.

In her address, Capella Ras said: “These conferences have never been more important. The world around us is a sea of change, but one thing that remains unchanged is the Caribbean spirit. It’s a spirit of collaboration, resilience, and a genuine love for the open water that binds us all.”

The CSEC is sponsored by TOTE; Shipco Transport; Tropical Shipping; Kingston Wharves Limited; SVITZER; King Ocean Services; CFL; Puerto Nuevo Terminal powered by Luis A. Ayala Colon Sucrs and Puerto Rico Terminals; Manzanillo International Terminal; Seaboard Marine; HIT Puerto Rio Haina; EAC Consulting; AGEPORT and Curaçao Ports Authority.


The Caribbean Shipping Association represents the interests of national shipping associations, ship owners, operators and agents, port operators, terminal operators, ship brokers, freight forwarders, and other transportation and logistics service providers in the Caribbean.