Bookmark Jamaica-Gleaner.com
Go-Jamaica Gleaner Classifieds Discover Jamaica Youth Link Jamaica
Business Directory Go Shopping inns of jamaica Local Communities

Home
Lead Stories
News
Business
Sport
Commentary
Letters
Entertainment
The Shipping Industry
Mind &Spirit
The Star
E-Financial Gleaner
Overseas News
Communities
Search This Site
powered by FreeFind
Services
Archives
Find a Jamaican
Library
Weather
Subscriptions
News by E-mail
Newsletter
Print Subscriptions
Interactive
Chat
Dating & Love
Free Email
Guestbook
ScreenSavers
Submit a Letter
WebCam
Weekly Poll
About Us
Advertising
Gleaner Company
Search the Web!

SAJ commits to port viability
published: Tuesday | December 2, 2003

THE SHIPPING Association of Jamaica (SAJ) has reaffirmed its commitment to the viability and competitiveness of the Port of Kingston.

As the association prepares for its 65th annual general meeting this week, president Harry Maragh, has identified competitive rates, high productivity, good industrial relations and maintaining a sophisticated and effective security infrastructure as the four main drivers of competitiveness for the Port of Kingston. The Port of Kingston is now ranked 65th among leading world ports.

Noting that the SAJ has a critical role in securing these fundamental elements for the continued development of the shipping industry, Mr. Maragh stressed that the association was committed to pursuing programmes aimed at further growth and development.

"World trends dictate that we must be competitive and shipping lines are demanding a more skilled workforce. Therefore, we must implement the kinds of programmes and strategies that guarantee growth in our market share. We recognise this and we continue to make necessary adjustments," he said.

He said productivity on the port had increased significantly, with 26 moves per gross hour now being recorded.

Mr. Maragh added that the relationship between the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) and the SAJ had demonstrated the possibilities of effective public and private sector partnerships, noting that while the PAJ concentrated on infrastructural improvements to boost competitiveness, the SAJ had done much to enhance the productivity of the workforce.

The president praised the visionary leaders of the shipping industry including the trade unions, which created the structures that have won industrial peace on the Port of Kingston.

This peace as well as the continuous improvements in productivity were won by the demonstration of real concern for welfare of workers on the port, who have been provided with a generous list of benefits including pension, guarantee pay and sick and vacation leave, national insurance, a health scheme.

PORT LABOUR

The founding fathers of the modern shipping industry introduced an equitable system to finance these benefits by placing a commercial charge on shipping lines using port labour supplied by the Shipping Association. This charge, called a cess, is levied on each tonne of general cargo or on each container moved in the domestic trade.

Mr. Maragh said this cess is vital to the association's work in honouring the obligations of the port community to protect the rights of port workers and secure the future of the shipping industry. He explained that the SAJ is mindful of the need for the port to remain competitive, and over the years, has periodically reviewed the levels of cess in relation to total expenses.

"As a consequence of increased efficiency, the industry has seen at least four reductions in cess during the past six years and the most recent was done in April 2003 when we removed the cess from transshipment cargo and reduced the rate on domestic cargo by six per cent," the President explained.

SECURITY

In the wake of the terrorist attacks on United States on September 11, 2001, and the more stringent security arrangements being required for countries trading with that nation, the PAJ and the SAJ are focusing jointly on improving the security of Port Bustamante. This is vital if the viability of the port as well as Jamaica's trading relationship with the United States, in particular, is to be secured.

In response to the global move to improve security at national borders, a Security Cess was recently introduced at the port and this is being used for training security personnel and acquisition of new security equipment and systems.

More The Shipping Industry | | Print this Page








Copyright2003 Gleaner Company Ltd. | Disclaimer | Letters to the Editor | Suggestions

Home - Jamaica Gleaner