Fri | Sep 18, 2020

Ladies take the helm at two major shipping companies

Published:Tuesday | August 25, 2020 | 12:05 AM
Sue-Ann Johnston, chief executive officer, Jamaica Fruit & Shipping Company Limited.
Sue-Ann Johnston, chief executive officer, Jamaica Fruit & Shipping Company Limited.

Two of Jamaica’s major shipping companies now have female chief executive officers. The chairman of both companies, Charles Johnston, recently announced the appointment of Sue-Ann Johnston as chief executive officer of Jamaica Fruit & Shipping Company Limited, and Anna Hamilton as chief executive officer of Jamaica Freight & Shipping Company Limited.

Johnston, a fourth-generation Johnston, follows in the footsteps of her great-grandfather, Charles Edward Johnston, who along with Capt S.D. List, formed the Jamaica Fruit & Shipping Company in 1919. Since its inception, the company has grown from strength to strength, expanding its reach. Today, as the holding company for Jamaica Freight & Shipping Company Limited and its subsidiaries, Jamaica Fruit & Shipping is involved in logistics, management, shipping services, ship repair and dry-dock facilities. In addition, the company forged partnerships with Seaboard Marine, in local agents Seaboard Jamaica Limited, and with Zim, in Kingston Logistics Centre Limited. Jamaica Fruit is also a founding shareholder in Jamaica Producers Group Ltd and Kingston Wharves Ltd.

Johnston, who attended the University of Florida prior to returning to Jamaica in 1987, has been involved in the family business for the past 27 years, immersing herself over that period in every facet of the business. She also held the position of business development manager at Kingston Industrial Garage between 2013 and 2017, but continued to be an active director of Jamaica Freight & Shipping during that period.

In making the announcement, Johnston expressed complete confidence in Johnston’s ability to navigate the company safely and successfully through the unchartered waters of today.

Hamilton has more than 14 years experience in the shipping industry and has held the position of sales and marketing manager at Jamaica Freight & Shipping Company since 2014. Jamaica Freight & Shipping is the agent for Cosco Shipping Container Lines, Jamaica Producers Shipping Company, Jashipco Express, Miami Freight & Shipping Company, MOL Auto Carrier Express, and Orient Overseas Container Lines. Jamaica Freight & Shipping is also the port agent for West Indies Alumina Company and Rusal at Port Esquivel.

Prior to joining Jamaica Freight & Shipping, Hamilton held the position of account executive and then director of sales and marketing at Seaboard Jamaica Limited between 2000 and 2008. She left Seaboard in 2008 to work in her family construction business, but as her true love is shipping, she returned to the industry in 2014.

She is the current chairman of the Shipping Association of Jamaica Agents Committee and recently completed the professional certificate in customs regulations, processes and brokerage at the Management Institute for National Development

Hamilton, a fluent Spanish speaker, is a graduate of Long Island University in New York, and holds a bachelor of arts and a master of arts degree in political science, and is a member of the prestigious Pi Sigma Alpha honour society. She is married to Richard and has one son, Justin.