Chief Officer of MV Tropic Island, Noel Yorac showing Minister of Maritime Affairs, Kirk Humphrey; CEO of Barbados Port Inc., David Jean-Marie; and Chairman of Barbados Port Inc., Senator Lisa Cummins, the bridge controls of the vessel while Captain, Sergei Zubenko looks on. (J.Rawlins-Bentham/BGIS)

Expect higher levels of efficiency, quicker turnaround times and a greater level of excellence from the Bridgetown Port as it strives to become known as the best port in the world.

Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, today said efficiency and effectiveness had to be the hallmark of everything that was done.

“I believe that our turnaround time is good, but it has to get better because excellence has to be what we continuously strive for so we could turn around faster; we could remove more containers per hour,” he said.

He was at the time addressing a ceremony to christen the cargo vessel MV Tropic Island at the Bridgetown Port today.

Mr. Humphrey said that the port had recently crafted a new vision for itself that spoke to innovation and becoming a green place to do business, and being the best by 2033.

Noting that the parent company, Tropical Shipping had acquired six new ships through a $150 million investment, the minister likened it to a commitment to island life.

“The reality is that by investing in Barbados you have come to invest in one of the greatest countries in the world. 

“We have a commitment to law and order; we thrive in being excellent in our reputation and excellent in our conduct…and in our endeavours,” he said.

Mr. Humphrey added that government was also investing significantly in the training of persons to work as seamen on a number of ships in various capacities, and encouraged Tropical Shipping to become a partner as the training programme was rolled out.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Barbados Port Inc., Senator Lisa Cummins, also described the christening of a vessel as an important undertaking as they strived to become the best niche port in the world.

“We will be the most innovative, green maritime hub in the world by 2030.  We have already started making strides for ourselves.  One of our sheds has started a project which looks at our process flow because we understand that our turnaround times matter; productivity matters, so we are looking at what end-to-end transactions are going to be looking like, and we are going to be looking at our key performance indicators.  We know what the turnaround times look like…and we are committed at the level of the port to ensure that not only do we deliver productivity, that we deliver speed but cost efficiency as well,” she stated.

The chairman acknowledged that in observing the trends in the shipping and productive sectors in Barbados, the port had no control over the imports or exports, but could ensure that what comes in and goes out moves through quickly, efficiently and at a cost effective level.

Ms. Cummins said that it was hoped that with the improvements in efficiency, cost and performance that more shipping lines would choose Barbados as a hub to home port.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Tropical Shipping, Jeff Fiser, said the MV Tropic Island was the fourth out of six ships built, and noted that another vessel, the Tropic Jewel, was expected to arrive in Barbados by next month.

He also said that the company was keen to establish Barbados as a transshipment hub. Longstanding employee of Tropical Shipping, Ucilma Yvette Lashley, who was named godmother of the MV Tropic Island, ceremoniously broke the bottle to the sound of air horns during the christening.

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