President of the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA) Carlos Urriola has implored executives attending the Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference (CSEC) in Jacksonville, Florida, to plan for change as they look to the future of the shipping industry.
"We need to have a clear understanding of what comes next; where do we expend our limited resources; and, for what eventualities we need to prepare," Urriola said.
He was addressing delegates at the opening of the 11th annual CSEC conference which started yesterday. The conference will end tomorrow.
According to Urriola, the face of shipping has changed dramatically in the last 13 years with bigger ports, cranes, ships and faster, more efficient, equipment, in addition to the fact that the volume of world trade has multiplied several times over and is still an impressive five per cent at a time when the global economic environment suggests it should be declining.
"I can promise you that this change will continue," Urriola said. "Ships are going to get even bigger, cargo volumes are going to expand and maritime transport will become even more important in global trade, this is the way of the world."
The CSA president continued, "It is up to us, the thinkers and planners in the maritime industry, to make the industry work efficiently and dependably; it is up to us, the service-providers and the owners and operators of the tools and facilities of maritime transport, to make it work," he said.
He pointed out that delegates present come together, not just to discuss issues and developments or network and share experiences. but to learn and understand what lies ahead.
"It is not enough to discuss what has already happened. That was yesterday's reality. We need also to understand what is going to happen," he said.
This year's CSEC is examining the state and immediate future of the industry in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Delegates at the conference represent the Caribbean, Latin America, the United States and Europe.