Behind the scene with the Port Authority of Jamaica’s immersive tours Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) is opening the doors of its Harbours and Port Services Division by welcoming media and other guests for a tour.

Why? For the first in its over-50-year history, the PAJ has created a series of interactive experiences designed to highlight the critical work of the organisation.

It’s not just ships and barrels, and containers and pilots by the wharf. The fully equipped, global operation is responsible for navigation cruise ships, protecting The Rock’s surrounding waters, and so much more.

It is the principal maritime agency responsible for the regulation and development of Jamaica’s port and shipping industry.

The Port Authority is responsible for the safety of all vessels navigating the ports of entry and regulation of the tariffs charged on goods passing through the public wharves.

The media open day, took place at the Newport East facilities in Kingston on Tuesday, as an interpersonal opportunity for information sharing and engagement with media practitioners as the PAJ moves to amplify its marketing communications and educate the public on the critical role it plays as an engine of economic growth and job creation.

‘The Port Authority is the chief maritime agency of the Government of Jamaica and its work significantly contributes to almost every facet of national life, with significant impact on maritime regulation, development, trade and commerce. We want to make sure that the public, an important stakeholder, understands the synergies between the work of the PAJ and the impact on everyday lives, and we believe greater engagement with media is a good place to start. This Media Open Day focuses on the Harbours and Pilotage Departments as they provide critical services to the country as their work ensure the safety and security of vessels navigating Jamaican waters. The teams at the Harbours and Pilotage Departments include skilled personnel who maintain all the island’s navigational aids such as buoys and lighthouses which help us to also meet global requirements and ultimately keep our ports open, functional and safe,’ said PAJ AVP, marketing and communications Kimberley Stiff.

The work of the Harbours & Pilotage Departments is entrenched in Jamaican law by the Harbours Act and Pilotage Act as well as required by international laws and conventions.

By way of the media open day, the PAJ hopes to provide a greater appreciation for the importance of the agency’s role in this regard.

‘No vessel comes into or leaves Jamaican waters without a marine pilot from the Port Authority ensuring its safe navigation, and this is stipulated by the Pilotage Act. Whether they are cargo vessels carrying containers with your favourite supermarket items or raw material for the manufacturing or construction sectors, or whether they are carrying cruise ship passengers, every vessel must be guided under the expert hand of a marine pilot who are assigned by our dispatchers. Media will get to interact with these and other critical personnel to learn more about their functions,’ Stiff explained.

The immersive media experience will involve a walk-through of the Harbours & Pilotage Departments as well as boat tours that will take media to Port Royal and on an exploration of the port ecosystem on board the Jamaica III, the PAJ’s state-of-the-art buoy tender utility vessel.

In addition to members of the media, some schools have been invited to participate through collaboration with the Caribbean Maritime University.

‘The CMU is a proud member of the maritime community. Along with the PAJ and the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), they have been charged with ensuring exceptional quality in our shipping, maritime, and logistics services. The PAJ has partnered with the CMU in terms of shared resources to be able to have the greatest reach and impact for the best quality talent in the Caribbean. Therefore, we are grateful and we are proud to engage with the PAJ on this their Media Open Day in echoing the call for greater resonance of the maritime, shipping, and logistics industries,’ noted CMU President Professor Andrew Spencer.

As part of its community outreach efforts, the PAJ invited students from the Rollington Town-based Josephine Glasspole Basic School, whose attendance doubled as a lesson on modes of transportation.

‘We’re looking forward to having the youngsters here as well so they can see the vessels but for the older ones to start thinking about careers in the maritime sector. There are some amazing career paths that so many of our youth are not aware of, and we want to use this initiative to open up those possibilities for them,’ Stiff confirmed.

Stay tuned as Loop News explores the features of the aforementioned vessel tours at the Newport East Harbours & Pilotage facilities.