PORT ST. MAARTEN – The newest addition to the Tropical Shipping fleet, Vessel Tropic Hope made its inaugural call in January at the Cargo terminal facilities at the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facilities.
Port St. Maarten Management would like to congratulate Tropical Shipping and its local management representation on the island with the inclusion of this new vessel that will be calling at the port cargo terminal.
Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunication TEATT the Honourable Stuart Johnson, commended Tropical Shipping for the introduction of their second vessel to the island.
Johnson said, as Port St. Maarten sails into the future with its numbers rebounding in the Cargo Sector, the continued growth of the port relies on the continued commitment from companies such as Tropical Shipping, whose investments post-Irma “solidifies a lifelong partnership with the destination.”
Johnson presented Tropical Shipping’s General Manager Keyla van Heyningen with a plaque of the new vessel to mark the momentous occasion.
Johnson underscored the importance of container and breakbulk shipping to the sustainable redevelopment of St. Maarten’s economy and said it was crucial for the island's recovery process that companies such as Tropical Shipping remained committed to the destination.
He said, “I am truly happy to extend the sincerest appreciation of the people and government of St. Maarten, to Tropical Shipping for its unwavering commitment to our destination. Much of what our people need to rebuild their homes and provide for their families depends on our ability to maintain a solid line of cargo delivery, and that is why the Cargo Facility’s repairs have been of major importance to my ministry.”
“Tropical Shipping is one of the ports strategic stakeholders and one of their key partners in the movement of cargo. The company is one of the leaders in ocean transportation and we are very proud to be associated with Tropical Shipping.
“The name of the vessel Tropic Hope, is also symbolic to the recovery phase that the country is currently in, rebuilding after the devastation left behind by Irma, whereby the population looks towards the future with hope and confidence during the rebuilding phase,” Port St. Maarten Management said on Sunday.
Tropical Shipping Island Manager Keyla Van Heyningen said on Sunday: “The arrival of the Hope to our fleet of vessels means that we are committed to our customers and we are committed to island life. To our customers their cargo will arrive on a timely manner. Tropical invests in 6 new vessels to replace some of the older vessels with these bigger faster vessels will be able to arrive on the island on Sunday morning and Tuesday night.”
Tropical Shipping is the primary reefer-carrier serving the Caribbean region. The new vessel will increase the company’s capacity for temperature-controlled cargo to the Caribbean Basin based on increased speed and efficiency of the new vessel.
“The Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facilities are the gateway or main entry of the majority of aggregates, building materials, food, dry and consumer goods needed by the islanders imported by sea. The port serves as a hub for trans-shipments to the neighbouring islands.
“The port continues to see high volume numbers as it relates to the movement of cargo and trade numbers. The investments made by the private sector demonstrates strength and confidence in the island and we expect to see projected high volumes in cargo movement for the next upcoming years.
“Tropical Shipping continues to bring in double digit growth numbers on full imports and transshipment due to our hub port function. In addition, their provisioning numbers are reaching high volumes and they continue to be a strategic partner with the cruise lines where provisioning is concerned, increasing with double digit growth using the port as a strategic hub for provisioning of key cruise vessels.
“Port St. Maarten has a track record and a reputation of being a reliable partner with a serious and dedicated staff who have contributed to the success of cargo operational excellence therefore making us the preferred port for all major shipping carriers.
“Due to the ports quick recovery and pace of repairs after the Irma disaster, and significant cargo terminal investments that would ensure sustainability and durability, the growth experienced by the port and cargo operators is testament to the strategic business decisions taken to ensure operational excellence during a time of crisis.
“At this time, we congratulate Tropical with its new vessels and continuous investments in reliability and dedicated service and we are proud to continue to play a part in Tropical’s success and growth in future market leadership and profitability,” Port St. Maarten Management adds.
Tropical Shipping back in 2016 signed an order with Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard, China, for six new vessels, an investment worth close to US$150 million as part of fleet reinvestment and a commitment to the Caribbean market.
Another new vessel entering into service is Tropic Island. Tropic Hope is part of the Carib Class which are 160 meters long and a capacity for 1148 TEU including 270 reefer plugs, hi-cubes below deck, bow and stern thrusters, and can travel up to 20 knots; are equipped with two cranes.
The vessel will be serving ports in Canada, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Northern and Eastern Caribbean.
Tropical Shipping has grown over the past five decades to become the largest containerized cargo carrier in the Caribbean region. Tropical Shipping provides direct service to Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean. Serving thousands of customers throughout this region, Tropical Shipping has a broad range of worldwide clients, whose diverse shipping needs include moving millions of tonnes of cargo throughout the global marketplace, making Tropical Shipping the carrier of choice for the Caribbean.