Fri | Sep 18, 2020

Shipping players unite to clean up Newport West

Published:Tuesday | August 25, 2020 | 12:06 AM
Ready to go! Members of staff of Kingston Wharves Limited are briefed on their tasks before doing their part in cleaning up Newport West.
Ready to go! Members of staff of Kingston Wharves Limited are briefed on their tasks before doing their part in cleaning up Newport West.

Kingston Wharves Limited, in partnership with the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) and a number of other businesses operating in the Newport West area, came together to clean up the community on Saturday, August 15. The effort was endorsed by the Newport West Corporate Citizens Association (NWCCA).

The improvement activities focused on roadways spanning Third and Second Streets, Fourth Avenue, and sections of Ninth Avenue. The work included removing garbage and debris from the roadways, sidewalks and drains, cutting grass, and removing overgrowth and garbage trapped in these areas. Companies also engaged in sprucing up their offices through painting.

Chief executive officer (CEO) of Kingston Wharves Limited Mark Williams observed that the terminal operations and logistics company, as a major player in the port community, was committed to improving the environment to ensure the health and well-being of its team members, customers, and other stakeholders.

“A crucial element in productivity and customer satisfaction is the aesthetics, general health and safety, and orderly functioning of a place of business. Kingston Wharves has invested in upgrading the drainage in Newport West in the vicinity of its facility, and last year, through our Millennial Club, we executed a clean-up of the area,” the CEO noted.

He underscored that the latest improvement effort was an essential complement to the infrastructure works in the area, adding, “If drains are cleaned and upgraded, it is important that they are kept free from garbage and debris.”

“We at Kingston Wharves will continue to play our part in building a better and more customer-friendly port community through sustainable activities,” the CEO said, adding, “This is even more urgent given the annual hurricane season and with the onset of the pandemic.”

The SAJ’s CEO Trevor Riley explained that the Newport West community is an important gateway into Jamaica, serving personal shippers, manufacturers, retailers, and other key groups. He revealed that “this is not the first time we are doing a clean-up with our members. The NPWCCA, in collaboration with the SAJ, used to coordinate the efforts, and it’s good that we are continuing to place emphasis on our physical appeal as well as public health and safety, especially during the hurricane season.”

The SAJ is an industry association comprising private sector maritime interests in Jamaica, and Riley said that the clean-up effort was “geared at enhancing the overall physical appearance and mitigating the occurrence of flooding that could negatively impact all users of the port community – businesses operating in the area, employees of the various entities located in Newport West, the customers who visit to clear their shipments and other users.”

MORE TO COME

The SAJ’s CEO explained that “this clean-up is the first in a number of such exercises planned for over the next few months. We hope to garner wider participation from the industry for the upcoming activities as we continue to work together as a community for a healthier and safer Newport West”.

Jamaica Freight and Shipping Company Limited and Xars Equipment and Trucking Company Ltd were the other companies participating in the clean-up exercise.

Anna Hamilton, CEO of Jamaica Freight and Shipping Company, said the company was pleased to participate in the recently held Newport West Clean-Up project.

“As long-standing citizens of the community, we feel a strong connection to the area and believe that the cleanliness of our environment is of paramount importance. What is of equal importance now is that we continue to exercise our civic responsibility and ensure that our colleagues and customers can enjoy the environs when coming to work or to conduct business,” Hamilton noted.

Managing director of Xars, Ruel Gibson, pointed to the need for order to be restored to the port community. “We really need to improve the environment in which we spend most of our waking hours because with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is going to be more of a challenge,” he remarked.

Gibson, who is also president of the NWCCA, noted, “With the clean-up effort by SAJ, Kingston Wharves, and the other business, we hope other operators will be encouraged to do the same.”