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Digitalisation the way ahead as Caribbean Shipping Association celebrates 50 years

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The Caribbean Shipping Association celebrated its 50th anniversary during the CSA’s Assembly General that was held virtually from 16 – 19 November 2020 and re-elected president Juan Carlos Croston and vice-president Marc Sampson.

Juan Carlos Croston told more than 200 online participants that they had been able to keep the supply chain open “For eight months, working together, we have kept the Caribbean shipping industry afloat.”

 “We have immediately made our voice heard on urgent and critical matters such as the safe repatriation of seafarers, appropriate arrangements for crew change and the need for greater harmonization of laws and regulations to ensure safe movement of vessels, crews, passengers and cargo,” said the CSA president.

“Building resilience in the face of adversity has always been high on the agenda of the CSA and our focus on the human element in shipping is proving to be the correct approach in ensuring the sustainability of our industry.”

Lars Jensen, ceo and partner of SeaIntelligence Consulting, key speaker for the AG meeting, urge CSA members “not to fight digitalisation” and that shift in demand has led to severe equipment issues in shipping in terms of bottlenecks arising from the placement of empty and full containers that will take to unwind.

“Demand growth is extremely uncertain as it will depend on shifts in consumer spending (for example, if vaccines end the pandemic in 2020), stimulus packages and inventory changes more than economic fundamentals,” he warned. 

 Jensen said that “we are now in uncharted territory but predicts long-term positive growth and likely above global average growth for the Caribbean due to supply chain diversification... Supply chain diversification is being driven by a need to end dependence on manufacturing by large factories in one geographical area, such as China.

“But scarcity of vessels and equipment in high-demand region spreads in an increase in freight levels to another region…i.e. the Caribbean…digitalisation is compulsory. And if you are not already on that, then find the tools.”

 

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