Seaports Magazine - Spring 2014 - (Page 32)

» CASE STUDY: PORT OF SANTA MARTA Santa Marta Focuses on the Environment, Community and Operational Efficiency By Mauricio Suarez Ramirez, PPM® Chief Executive Officer, Puerto de Santa Marta T he Port of Santa Marta is located in northern Colombia, on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, in the city of Santa Marta with a population of approximately 400,000. It is characterized as a port city with burgeoning tourism potential and excellent opportunity for the development of industry. Santa Marta is blessed with natural wonders, such as the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the world's highest coastal range beginning at the shores of the region and rising to 5,700 meters (18,700 feet) in altitude with ice covered peaks, as well as Tayrona National Park, famous worldwide for its beautiful beaches and rich marine life. The Port of Santa Marta is a multipurpose deep-water terminal handling about 6 million tons per year. The port is comprised of three subterminals: container, coal, and bulk and general cargo. As a port professional in the industry for the last 18 years, I've come to the conclusion that port managers have to be forward thinkers. Our industry environment is constantly changing; we live in a different world and industry paradigm. The growth in international trade, globalization, and the complexities and limitations affecting the entire logistics chain have made it indispensable for port managers to make decisions within strategic, forward-thinking frameworks. Moreover, port managers have to be cognizant of and address the need of training their mid-level managers so they too make decisions based on forward thinking. And teamwork must be emphasized while the abilities and strengths of each individual must be fostered and developed. At the Port of Santa Marta, we have concentrated on achieving efficiency in the handling of cargo. We have strived to operate a sustainable enterprise and worked hard to administer the port with best practices in environmental management and, most importantly, we have expended great effort and committed significant 32 AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE resources to improving the quality of life of our less advantaged neighboring communities. During the past five years, we have invested $80 million to acquire two gantry cranes, four RTGs (rubber-tired gantry) and Vigan suction equipment for dry agri-bulk cargoes; built storage silos; and acquired a state-of-the-art coal loading system. In the coming years, we will be investing an additional $127 million to meet the demands of international trade, growth, competition and the ever-changing port industry scenario. In the realm of environmental practices, in June of 2013, the Port of Santa Marta received the ECOPORTS award for best practices in sustainable environmental policies and procedures certified by the Lloyds Register. The Port of Santa Marta became the first port outside of Santa Marta to be granted this certification, becoming a model for sustainable development for other ports throughout Latin America. Lastly, I can say that everyone associated with our organization is very proud of the port's commitment to helping our less advantaged neighboring communities. By Board of Directors mandate, the Port of Santa Marta allocates 5 percent of net profits on a yearly basis for social work needs through its Port Society Foundation. The port seeks to be not only a good neighbor, but an excellent and respected neighbor. Our objective is to improve the education of children, give access to health resources, build parks and recreational centers, and increase the overall quality of life of our neighboring communities. In partnership with area private companies, we have been able to help and support the needs of more than 1,000 children. With a well-trained, forward-looking management team that administers a highly competitive port, the Port of Santa Marta is poised and prepared to meet the challenges of the future and the changes that will undoubtedly take place in the port industry. ●

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Spring 2014

AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
Public Sector Agencies with Private Sector Expectations
Welcoming Veterans to Port Ranks
Working with Stakeholders: The Buck Stops at the CEO’s Office
Words of Wisdom from Long-Standing Port Executives
PPM® Certification Readies Executives for the Top
Facing Challenges Head On
Ports are Critical to U.S. Economy’s Health
The Changing Paradigm of Transportation Executives
Port and Maritime Environmental Compliance Planning Starts at the Top
Comprehensive Records Retention Plan a Must for Ports
Saint John Brings the Port to the Classroom
Barbados on Track for Record Cruise Growth
Santa Marta Focuses on the Environment, Community and Operational Efficiency
Northwest Ports Partner to Further Cut Diesel Emissions

Seaports Magazine - Spring 2014