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News Article

June 02, 2010
2010/2011 Budget Debate Contribution - Minister Earl Deveaux

commend the Rt. Honourable Prime Minister and his team for their leadership and competence in finalizing the budget.

I especially single out

The Prime Minister for continuing to engage every corner of The Bahamas as he seeks solutions to the challenges before us. I have never heard of a man having so many people and being so available. Contrary to the view expressed publicly. I know that he always seeks a solution which does not divide our society.
And the Minster of State for Finance for his strong belief in Bahamian entrepreneurial talent and his continued tangible support of their cause.

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News Article

July 17, 2012
ACL shuts down in Bahamas, U.S.

Atlantic Caribbean Line (ACL) is closing down operations in both The Bahamas and the U.S., putting at least a dozen Bahamians out of work.
Representing around 120 containers per week into the country, or 15 percent of the market share, ACL had offices in Nassau and Freeport.
However, the shock of the company's closure is being felt beyond these borders.
All operations in the U.S., based out of Fort Pierce, Florida, are also in the midst of a complete shutdown. ACL, founded in 1986, operated five container ships. Nassau Port Director for ACL Garth Rolle confirmed that 12 Bahamians are out of work.
"It's a disappointment," he said.
"The position is the owners decided to pull out of the market. The last call was on Friday. So this is with immediate effect. We were given very little information. I can't go beyond what I've said."
The exact motives behind the shutdown are unclear, although Guardian Business understands the company's Fort Pierce location could be earmarked for a real estate project or another business venture.
Sources close to the matter indicated ACL may have been sold to a competitor. Guardian Business was unable to confirm or deny this development before press time.
Michael Maura Jr, the CEO of APD Limited, said the closure will have no impact on the supply chain for The Bahamas.
He pointed out that the move is not a case where a company opted to pull out of the market. Instead, ACL has decided to shut the entire business down. Maura told Guardian Business that the shipping industry has taken a number of blows since the onset of the financial crisis.
"It has been very trying," he explained.
"The last few years have been difficult. It is unfortunate, but from a business perspective, the remainder of the market will be picked up very easily."
The CEO noted that ACL had already spent a considerable sum outfitting its facility in the new Gladstone Freight Terminal, which is the counterpart to the $83 million Nassau Container Port.
The major shipping companies that remain in the Bahamian market include Tropical Shipping, Crowley and G&G Shipping.
In 2008, Pioneer Shipping, having spent 29 years in The Bahamas, laid off nearly 50 people after uprooting operations in the country.

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News Article

April 02, 2014
GB Shipyard brings The Bahamas to the world

MIAMI, Florida - Grand Bahama Shipyard helped Cruise Shipping Miami celebrate the 30th anniversary of its cruise ship convention by hosting a reception for participating clients, Bahamian style.
Cruise Shipping Miami is an international exhibition, and the cruise industry's premier global event, held annually in Miami, Florida at the Miami Beach Convention Center, and attracts anywhere from 900 to 1,200 exhibitors and over 10,000 attendees.
This year marked 30 years of bringing the world together from the cruise sector to showcase their products, which range from ship repair and ship ports to cleaning products, food and beverage as well as linens and souvenirs.
Grand Bahama Shipyard Limited (GBS) uses this opportunity to exhibit the company and keep its name in the forefront of the industry while reminding attendees that it is the premier cruise ship repair company in this region, if not worldwide.
During the exhibition, GBS brought The Bahamas to the world in other ways than just showcasing its ship repair facilities. In 2012, GBS began hosting a reception for its owners and clients at the convention. The reception continues to today and is a highlight as it brings a taste of Bahamian culture. This year's menu for the reception included Bahamian conch chowder, guava cake and Bahamian beer - Sands and High Rock - as well as a cultural Junkanoo show.
"Since the first reception, everyone has looked forward to our Bahamian treats," said Paulette Russell, GBS' marketing assistant. "We often hear guests' glowing reviews of the Bahamian beer, the fantastic conch and the performances done by the Junkanoo group."
The Junkanoo group, which performed at the reception, hails from Bahamian Society of Miami. Guests at the reception complimented and applauded the Junkanoo group for its performance.

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News Article

March 18, 2014
CEO: Port of Miami 'no threat' to Freeport post-Panama expansion

Freeport's chief executive officer has confirmed he feels "no threat" from the Port of Miami notwithstanding major infrastructural upgrades currently underway at the Florida port and direct efforts by its director to win back transshipment business that has been lost to Freeport and other competitors.
Godfrey Smith, CEO of the Freeport Container Port, said that he views it as more likely that Freeport and the Port of Miami will "compliment" each other in a post-Panama canal expansion environment, suggesting that transshipment is "Freeport's business".
He also pointed to certain legal requirements as making it easier for ships engaged in transshipment to come to Freeport rather than Miami.
Freeport has been touted as likely to get a big boost once the Panama Canal expansion is complete. The port has traditionally dominated in the region in terms of container port throughput, coming in top in the region in 2012. Once the Panama canal expansion is complete, it is at an advantage because it already provides the conditions for super-sized ships to enter and dock, and because of its significant land availability for storage.
Despite already going to the critical depth, Freeport also has its own post-Panama expansion plans, although Smith said he does not anticipate that they will be completed by 2015, when the canal project is set to wrap up.
However, laying out Miami's advantage in an interview with Guardian Business, Director of the Port of Miami Bill Johnson, said that a combination of infrastructure, service and geographic location will make the Florida port a key player once the completion of the Panama canal expansion is finalized in 2015.
While Johnson did not directly identify upgrade plans as part of a strategy to better compete with Freeport and win back transshipment business, he has previously done so. The Port of Miami lost much of its transshipment business after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when new security regulations created challenges doing business.
Johnson is reported to have written a letter to Acting Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Commissioner Thomas Winkowski in June 2013, asking the CBP to develop a pilot program, "with a transshipment inspection protocol pilot for the Port of Miami."
According to the port's letter to CBP Commission Winkowski, prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, "transshipment made up over 22 percent of the cargo trade at the Port of Miami." Now, that transshipment cargo goes through Panama, Freeport, and Kingston.
The CBP is reported to have promised it is "committed and will do everything in its power to expedite transshipment".
In November 2013, a Transshipment Committee was established by the port in conjunction with the CBP to ensure "the return of transshipment to the port".
In an interview with Guardian Business, Johnson described the Port of Miami as having been "quietly, strategically" upgrading to the tune of $65 million to $100 million a year over the past eight years, with an eye to capitalizing on the surge in shipping volumes that will ensue once the Panama project concludes. The port is geographically closer to Panama, but only just.
Johnson said that the port is "very, very excited" about its project to deepen its harbor to accommodate the mega ships that will come through the Panama canal once its expansion is complete, predicting it will see the port accommodate "triple the volume" of shipments it is at present.
Meanwhile, an "on-dock" railway system is being developed that will allow cargo to be shipped by rail directly from the port to 70 percent of the U.S. population within one to four days, said Johnson - a key advantage for the port.
Noting that upgrades are "all about speed to market", Johnson said that a roughly $1 billion tunnel system is now being developed which will see the port become one of the few in the world with a direct connection under the ground to the highway system, allowing cargo to move seamlessly "without a single traffic light" and speeding up delivery. Johnson described the project as "one of the largest PPP (public-private partnership) projects in the U.S., which is opening on time and under budget" in two months' time.
"The $2 billion we've invested we consider a strategic investment to make sure the Port of Miami is fully prepared for the changing opportunities in global trade. We're (handling) right under one million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) right now, and with this infrastructure with the incorporation of RTG (rubber-tyred gantry) equipment, this will allow us to go up to $4 million TEUs (annually)," said Johnson.
After some delays due to a legal dispute, the Panama Canal Authority approved a deal last week that would ensure the completion of the expansion project by December 2015. It came after construction was halted for two weeks in February on the mega-project. The new arrangement will require the authority and the Spanish-led construction consortium leading the project to put in an extra $100 million.
Before the latest agreement, the canal's expansion project was due to be completed in June 2015, nine months behind its original schedule, with the overall cost of the project estimated at $5.2 billion.
The key impact of the widening and deepening of the canal is to slash costs for shipping, by allowing larger ships that can carry triple the amount of cargo on board.
Other ports in the region will go to the critical depth to be able to accommodate the mega ships that will traverse the Panama Canal post-expansion. But there are other reasons why they may not be competition for Freeport.
The Port of Mariel in Cuba, inaugurated in January, is deep at 18 meters and has plenty land space (as does Freeport), but the U.S. embargo will keep it out of the picture until the U.S. embargo is dropped. Ships going there cannot enter the U.S. for six months after.
Kingston, Jamaica, has plans to deepen its harbor to accommodate mega ships, but has yet to finalize its plans, suggesting it may not be ready in time for the completion of the canal.
Johnson's record at the Port of Miami points to a successful growth strategy to date.
"I've been here now for eight years and we've increased from $16 billion to $30 billion in terms of our direct and indirect economic impact on the region. We'd like to go from roughly one million TEUs annually to two million by 2020. We're looking to double cargo movements in the next five to six years. We're placed for growth, we just need to mind our Ps and Qs. It's not just about infrastructure, we're focused on customer service and care and having a competitive price point. These improvements can take us to four million TEUs annually by 2025, 2030," said Johnson.

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News Article

July 19, 2012
ACL cargo in lockdown at terminal

Businesses shipping with Atlantic Caribbean Line (ACL) have been locked out from their merchandise for nearly a week following the company's abrupt closure.
According to multiple sources, cargo shipped by ACL through the Nassau Container Port (NCP) made it through customs. It was subsequently transferred to the sister facility, the Gladstone Freight Terminal (GFT). However, while business have paid all of the necessary fees, their cargo has remained locked in a
warehouse, and seemingly nobody has the ability to release it.
"I've heard about the complaints, but I have no comment," said Garth Rolle, former Nassau Port director at ACL. Earlier yesterday morning, Rolle confirmed to Guardian Business that ACL is still being run by a skeleton crew, although he is no longer working for the company.
Terry Johnson, the owner of Affordable Aluminum, said he has more than $21,000 worth of product sitting in the warehouse.
The aluminum came in on Friday, he said, and managed to clear customs. But when his driver went to GFT to pick up the product, as he normally does, "the doors were locked".
"He told me some representative is investigating, but so far nothing. My clients are upset, because it has nearly been a week now," he told Guardian Business. "It is putting me on edge."
Johnson insists that he is a paying customer, and the fact ACL went out of business is not an excuse.
"I've done everything I need to do. What am I supposed to do?" he asked.
Taneka Hanna, customer representative at the company, noted that nobody at the GFT or ACL seems to know the state of the cargo.
When she last drove down to GFT yesterday, she said there were several other business representatives with similar problems, as ACL had many shipments coming in on the days leading up to its closure. She speculated there are inefficiencies or discrepancies between the port and ACL.
Michael Maura, the CEO of APD Limited, did not return requests for comment before press time.
"This is no fault of ours," Hanna said. "We have our customers waiting on their product. These are people we deal with every day. They don't know where their product is, and we're not getting any answers."
Hanna added that Affordable Aluminum had already notified its suppliers that it will be shifting from ACL to Tropical Shipping.
On Tuesday, Guardian Business first revealed that ACL had shut its doors, putting at least 12 Bahamians out of work. The company had approximately 15 percent of the local market share.
ACL closed its offices in Nassau, Freeport, and Fort Pierce, Florida.
"It's a disappointment," said Rolle, its former manager. "The position is the owners decided to pull out of the market. The last call was on Friday, so this is with immediate effect. We were given very little information."
Maura, the CEO of APD Limited, said the closure will not have a lasting impact on shipping into The Bahamas.

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News Article

March 20, 2011
Shipper's vessel is released

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business
Editor

A BAHAMIAN shipping company has recovered its vessel from US custody after agreeing to pay $75,000 to the Palm Beach Steamship Agency to settle an alleged unpaid debt.

Dean's Shipping Company regained possession of its M/V Legend II vessel last Thursday, with the US District Court for southern Florida dismissing the case brought against it by the Steamship Agency. An intervening lawsuit brought by Caterpillar Financial Services, which alleged that Dean's Shipping had breached the terms of a $2.67 million loan by allowing the M/V Legend II to be seized and have a lien placed over it, was also dismissed.

A March 16, 2011, court order obtained by Tr ...

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News Article

March 20, 2011
SHIPPER'S VESSEL IS RELEASED

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business
Editor

A BAHAMIAN shipping company has recovered its vessel from US custody after agreeing to pay $75,000 to the Palm Beach Steamship Agency to settle an alleged unpaid debt.

Dean's Shipping Company regained possession of its M/V Legend II vessel last Thursday, with the US District Court for southern Florida dismissing the case brought against it by the Steamship Agency. An intervening lawsuit brought by Caterpillar Financial Services, which alleged that Dean's Shipping had breached the terms of a $2.67 million loan by allowing the M/V Legend II to be seized and have a lien placed over it, was also dismissed.

A March 16, 2011, court order obtained ...

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News Article

April 06, 2011
Challenge to container port plan

PALM BEACH, Florida - Months after the Freeport Container Port (FCP) projected multi-million-dollar investments based around it being the largest regional harbor, Florida has announced $77 million in dredging set to make the state the leading trans-shipment point in the area.
The plan is set to complicate what up until March had been pretty secure expansion plans for the Grand Bahama company. Florida Governor Rick Scott said the dredging of the Port of Miami will make it the hub for trade for the East Coast, if not for the country.
“We are clearly going to be the shipping capital,” he said at the Palm Beach Strategic Forum on Monday. “International trade is a ...

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News Article
Mass Rally Remarks - Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham
March 20, 2011
Mass Rally Remarks - Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham

Fellow Bahamians, Fellow FNMs:

There are more of us than there are of them!

We are meeting at the beginning of the celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of our great Free National Movement.

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News Article

March 12, 2014
'Ditch Digger' takes top team honors in Wahoo Smackdown IV tourney

ALICE TOWN, Bimini -- Anglers at the Wahoo Smackdown IV Tournament in Bimini found and slammed over 27 fish, with 'Ditch Digger', captained by Manny Legakis, claiming $6,500 including first place honors with 121.01 total pounds of Wahoo caught, and second place for 'Heaviest Fish'. In that category, 'Ditch Digger' was edged out by 'Fishless' out of Miami, Florida.
'Fishless' Captain Carolos Martinez weighed in the tournament's largest Wahoo at 47.90 pounds, with 'Ditch Digger' weighing in 47.30 pounds. 'Real Truckin' out of La Belle, Florida, captained by Alex Newman, finished third in the category with 43.03 pounds.
According to Tournament Director Chase Camacho, payouts were just short of $25,000 and another $10,000 in prizes was awarded.
"We had a great show of boats and anglers and combined with the competition and camaraderie was two days of high spirits, great food and hospitality at one of the world's most famous fishing destinations courtesy of the Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina," Camacho said.
Tournament sponsors include Southern Wine & Spirits, Tito's Vodka, Sand's Brewery, G&G Shipping, Blue Coast Company, Ecoboats, Florida Yacht Interiors, Pantropic Power, King Sailfish Mounts, Blue Moon Co., Hooters, ROFF's, Bows and Bost Lures just to name a few.
Coming to Bimini April 24-27, is the Super Bowl of billfishing, a stellar squad of National Football League (NFL) Hall of Famers and legends for a one-of-a-kind tournament, matching the country's best anglers against former greats from the NFL for some hard-hitting blue water action.
With 11 Hall of Famers and six NFL legends scheduled to appear, the Hall of Fame Celebrity Billfish Invitational will feature over $250,000 in prizes, a tremendous gift bag per angler, and the opportunity to fish with a pro football Hall of Fame player or NFL legend.

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