Sun | Feb 23, 2020

CSA presents Impressive IT Panel Discussion

Published:Tuesday | April 30, 2019 | 12:05 AM
Dwain Powell, director, Port Community system
Andre Williams Chief Information Officer of Jamaica Customs.

Just as four of the world’s major shipping lines are establishing a Digital Container Shipping Association to drive standardisation, digitalisation and interoperability in the industry. And as the shipping industry as a whole is integrating greater use of block-chain technology, digital tracking services, and drone technologies in their businesses, the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA) is presenting ‘Interlinked: Bridging the Gaps with ICT in the Jamaican Shipping Industry.’ This panel discussion will be held on May 21, 2019 – day two of the CSA’s mid-year Caribbean Shipping Executive Conference.

Panellists include ASYCUDA guru André Williams, chief information officer at Jamaica Customs who is the brain behind the implementation of the system in Jamaica. Developed in Geneva by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, ASYCUDA which means automated system for customs data, began its first pilot phase in Jamaica in December 2014.

According to its stated mandate, the ASYCUDA programme is directed at speeding up customs clearance through the introduction of computerisation and simplification of procedures and thus minimising administrative costs to the business community and the economies of countries.

It also aims at increasing customs revenue, which is often the major contributor to national budgets in most countries. Although it has faced some challenges here, it has successfully automated many processes which were previously manual.

The Port Community System was brought to Jamaica through the foresight and the industry of the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ), which over 15 years ago realised that, for the industry maximise its potential, this concept must be implemented here. Its current director Dwain Powell brings his depth of insight to the panel. The PCS aims to meet the need for intelligent, secure and reliable exchange of information across connected platforms. The system was operationalised by the Port Authority of Jamaica and is the first of its kind in the region handling business to business transactions (complementing ASYCUDA which handles transactions between government entities and between government entities and businesses).

Leading Operator

Headquartered in Le Havre, France, the system provider SOGET is the leading Port Community System operator in France and a public-private partnership between the Port Community of Le Havre, Port of Le Havre Authority, and French Customs. Their teams have been here in Jamaica working along with the Port Authority, Jamaica Customs and the SAJ to customise the system to the needs of the industry and its implementation is well under way.

Operations Manager of ADVANTUM Kay Wilson-Kelly joins the panel as the manager of a team that has developed an array of applications for the shipping industry such as Advantum Port, Advantum Agent and Advantum Warehouse. These applications were built for operations in a port/agent environment and they seek to optimise the operations of the ports and shipping agents as well as logistics centres. The latest application to join their extensive portfolio is the Motor Vehicle Management System (MVMS), which was developed to help the Motor Vehicle Department manage all vehicle operations on the terminal. Established in 1981 as Port Computer Services to provide information technology infrastructure and systems support to the local port community and the wider Caribbean maritime sector, ADVANTUM holds the distinction of being the pioneer in the computerisation of the Port of Kingston, one of the Hemisphere’s premier and most strategically located transshipment ports.

Also on the panel is Marketing Manager of shipping agency Jamaica Freight and Shipping Anna Hamilton, an expert in customer service, sales and sales management has had over 15 years’ experience in the shipping industry and manages the account of COSCO one of the largest shipping lines in the world known for their disruption free global coverage. She is the vice-chairperson of the SAJ’s Agent Committee and she liaises on behalf on SAJ members on industry-related matters such as PCS implementation and ASYCUDA. As a frequent user of both systems and having been present during the critical implementation phases, her contribution will round out the panel comprised of private sector and government internet-based service providers.

The panel will be moderated by Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA) General Council member William Brown, who is the Managing Director of the Lannaman & Morris (Shipping) Group of Companies. Mr Brown is a Certified International Trade Professional under the World Trade Organisation International Trade Tribunal. He also serves the industry on the board of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica . He will guide the electrifying discussions which are sure to spark from this topic. As with all things technology, it is not to be missed.

About the Conference

The CSA 18th Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference is attracting delegates from across the world including shipping and business magnates, policy-makers, government officials and executives from other trade- and logistics-related fields. This year, the conference moves to Kingston where the association has many active members and two past presidents. The conference which will be hosted by the Shipping Association of Jamaica as a part of its 18th anniversary celebrations. The venue is The Jamaica Pegasus hotel. The conference will take place over two days, from May 20- 21, 2019.

Other conference speakers and presenters include vice-president of global strategies at Hudson Analytix, Inc, Max Bobys; director of sustainability, City of Orlando, Christopher Castro, head of human resources, Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Cartagena, Karina Kure; and branding consultant and business coach, Ghatim Kabbara.

Preparations are apace for attendees to be able to network not only in person as is the norm, but in cyberspace through the CSA’s various social media platforms and through its conference app which will be launched over the next few days.