Analysis of Caribbean Seaports In Terms of Cargo Efficiency
Caribbean region is of great importance as Yucatan Channel links the Caribbean to the Gulf of Mexico while Panama Canal links the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean.
This article encourages looking new perspectives of practices and policies in order to enhance the cargo operations in the Caribbean region. Ports in the Caribbean regions with their efficiency rating in a study by Caribbean Development Bank are as follows:
1 – Antigua (6.9) 2 – Bahamas (14) 3 – Barbados (9.6) 4 – Belize (7.8)
5 – Dominica (6) 6 – Grenada (5.6) 7 – Guyana (6.3) 8 – St. Kitts (6.7)
9 – St. Lucia (8.1) 10 – St. Vincent (6.7) 11 – Suriname (10.5) 12 – Trinidad & Tobago (11.8)
How Can You Estimate Efficiency of Sea Ports?
You can estimate imports and exports just by knowing a seaport efficiency graph. In the same way, Cargo to Caribbean can also be estimated from port efficiency data.
As a result, standard policies are regulated on seaports so that trade volume can be increased, significantly. There are several but certain factors that constitute efficiency as per follows:
- Operational timings of the seaport
- Cargo fleet handling capacity
- Physical and organizational structure & facilities
- Control and Automation standards
- Operational Independence
- Top 3 Caribbean Sea Ports in Terns of Efficiency
According to above data, the Port of Nassau in the Bahamas with an efficiency score of 14 appears to be the most efficient of all, followed by Port of Spain in the Trinidad & Tobago which has a score of 11.8. Port of Spain has the largest crane park and is leading in Information Technology implementations.
The third most efficient Caribbean port is in Suriname, famous for its world-class modern infrastructure, has an efficiency rating of 10.5. The port follows a bi-node management model that allocates investments to 2 different departments.
Being a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) the investments with infrastructure label are assigned to Port Authority while Operations and Equipment investments are assigned to the private sector.
What Makes Saint Lucia, The Most Efficient Port Of OECC?
Among the Organization of Eastern Caribbean Countries (OECC), the port of Saint Lucia scores highest. Latest IT systems and advanced infrastructure have contributed to achieving this much ranking of 8.1. In other words, you can get an estimate from the above-given data that most of the cargo to Caribbean’s eastern part comes through the port of Saint Lucia.
What keeps Grenada and Dominica lowest in rankings?
The key factor in keeping Grenada and Dominica rankings at lowest positions is their outdated infrastructure. Both the ports are under Government control, therefore, autonomy powers are limited and labour productivity is comparatively at lowest.
Both the factors of limited autonomy powers and low labour productivity lead to low operational performance.
On-Going Latest Trends in Caribbean Seaports
Modern trends are leading Caribbean Maritimes to increase their vessel sizes. This trend would increase the efficiency of seaports with larger bays and shipment facilities. These modern trends would also cause a significant decrease in the efficiency of already less efficient seaports with comparatively small bays.
If this trend continues then cargo to the Caribbean facility would be less on efficient seaports. Medium sized vessels would serve many ports while small vessels would be utilized to serve small ports and in the result, new regional hubs would emerge among OECS ports.
Future Estimates of Caribbean Seaports
An increase in cargo operations in Suriname is estimated to be highest in 2025. Its cargo operations would be increased by 71%. On the other hand side, Grenada’s seaport efficiency would have been increased by 19% only, keeping it on the lowest rank.
Recommendations to Increase Cargo to Caribbean Handling Capacity
Based on the above factors, the following recommendations are made to enhance cargo to Caribbean handling capacity of Caribbean seaports:
- To invest in port modernization
- The emergence of a regional port among OECS countries
- Make labours attend training workshops
- Making port authorities, self-governing
- Work on long-term plans to improve port’s infrastructure as per future requirements
Last but not the least is to encourage private investments in seaports as most of the world’s trade is carried out by sea. Seaports have a greater proposition to generate funds for investors and private investment plans should be a must for infrastructure advancement.