MESSAGE FROM GRANTLEY STEPHENSON, C.D., J.P. Chief Executive Officer
Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) is always honoured to join our local partners in celebrating Maritime Awareness Week, and to come together with the international shipping community to observe World Maritime Day which, this year, marks the 70th Anniversary of the adopting of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Convention and 60 years since it became operational.
The 2018 theme, IMO 70: Our Heritage—Better Shipping for a Better Future inspires KWL as an organization to reflect on its own role as a key stakeholder in this dynamic regional port, shipping and logistics industry that has stood the test of time, weathering rough waters to transport goods, and facilitate valuable and seamless connections between importers and exporters in various parts of the world.
The IMO has determined that some 8o per cent of world trade takes place through shipping, signifying that all areas of the global economy on every continent, and the lives and livelihoods of billions of people have been literally built on the shipping and logistics industry. Ports also generate direct economic benefits through their operations, as well as additional indirect benefits in the form of trade enhancement, second order increases in production volumes, and collateral increases in trade-related services.
Beyond the international focus, this year’s theme is a potent reminder of the shared history and symbiotic connections which exist among local stakeholders involved in Jamaica’s shipping industry. In spite of challenging periods throughout our history, together we have innovated and transformed into a modern and technologically-driven sector, capable of competing with any port and transshipment destination in the world.
Each stakeholder has pursued its own path of excellence and taken steps to expand operations for improved service delivery and increased profitability, ensuring that we each remain a strong link in our shared destiny.
For our part, KWL’s ongoing investment in our employees’ development, along with key pioneering moves such as the recent establishment of our Total Logistics Facility and the Global Auto Logistics Centre has helped to radically transform our service to our clients, and attests to our deep commitment to excellence.
Today we pay tribute to our many partners, including the Government of Jamaica for providing the enabling environment for our operation.
KWL also pays particular homage to the leadership of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) which, this week, celebrates one year since being granted university status. As the CMU forges ahead, we look forward to welcoming the cadre of highly-skilled and professional workers being prepared to take their place in the field, and who will help chart the course for an even more productive and innovative future for our industry.
Our collective future is anchored to our human capital development which will enable increased operational efficiency and a greater ability to attain and maintain global standards.
Together, as an industry, we can continue to practise better shipping for a better future.