On Wednesday 20th May, Port St Maarten Chief Executive Officer Mark Mingo and top officials from Compagnie Maritime d’Affretement (CMA) and Compagnie Generale Maritime (CGM), one of Port St. Maarten’s top carriers CMA-CGM, met and discussed key issues and their growth perspectives for St. Maarten where cargo movements are concerned.
The CMA CGM Group is one of the world’s leading container shipping companies. The group has had a continued growth and innovates to offer its clients new maritime, land and logistics solutions. On May 12th, the group launched its largest vessel, the CMA CGM Kerguelen, 398 meters in length and able to carry 17,722 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) containers. This is the first of six vessels of the same size series that will enter the fleet in 2015 and join the groups other 460 vessels.
The representatives from CMA-CGM were: Guillaume de Chastellux, Head of Europe/French Guiana & North Brazil Mediterranean/Caribbean; Liliane Hohl, General Manager St. Maarten. Roger Lawrence, Port St. Maarten Terminal and Cargo Operations Manager were also part of the meeting.
The highlight of the discussions were CMA CGMs firm commitment in their efforts to continue to grow their transshipment business in St. Maarten and their overall positive projections where local and project cargo is concerned.
During the meeting emphasis was placed on commitments by both Port officials and CMA-CGM officials, to continue to work together to increase and entrench more the hub function capabilities from a feeder perspective in St. Maarten due to its strategic proximity within the north eastern Caribbean region.
It was also emphasized that due to new developments and dynamics within the world of shipping, CMA- CGM has invested in newer and larger 2200TEU class container carriers which the first delivery is expected in June 2015.
The aforementioned type of vessel is expected already to be in rotation in at Port St. Maarten by fall 2015.
As a result of this new development whereby initial discussions started some years ago, Port St. Maarten has recently concluded all ground work and due diligence in acquiring and trading in their older version Model 4 Gottwald Crane for a newer Model 6 crane with an outreach of 15 across and load capacities of 125t, to be able to properly accommodate and continue to grow its foot print within the north eastern Caribbean region.
The Terex Gottwald Model 6 harbour crane is high performance for higher handling rates, and is part of the large crane family from Terex Port Solutions. The crane can be used on ships up to post-Panamax and Capesize Bulker class.
The Model 6 crane is equipped with the technical and ergonomic functions and features required to improve productivity, environmental compatibility and facilitate operation to boost economical and sustainable cargo handling in ports and terminals. Port St. Maarten crane staff is already trained and certified Gottwald operators which will ease the transitioning process to the newer model type.
The support of the assigned stevedoring group also contributed to the overall meeting by committing to continue to deliver better ground handling services.
Over the years Port St. Maarten has invested significantly in Cargo, where infrastructure, dredging, and upgrading of Cranes are concerned; news of further commitments in increasing cargo volume especially related to transshipment where enormous growth opportunity exist, brings about a good feeling for port officials, and it was resounding throughout the meeting that future business prospects for the country are promising.