Tue | Mar 26, 2019

Kingston Wharves recognises customs workers

Published:Tuesday | February 26, 2019 | 12:06 AM
CEO of Kingston Wharves Grantley Stephenson (fifth from left) and Commissioner of Customs Velma Ricketts-Walker (sixth from left) share in the moment with  customs officers, managers and supervisors who were recognised by Kingston Wharves Limited for their services.
CEO of Kingston Wharves Grantley Stephenson (fifth from left) and Commissioner of Customs Velma Ricketts-Walker (sixth from left) share in the moment with customs officers, managers and supervisors who were recognised by Kingston Wharves Limited for their services.

Kingston Wharves has recognised officers of the Jamaica Customs Agency for their support in facilitating the clearance of cargo during the 2018 peak season, which ran from November 15 to December 22.

Speaking at a recent luncheon held in honour of the officers, CEO of Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) Grantley Stephenson pointed to Jamaica Customs as crucial partners.

“It is easy to take the officers of the Jamaica Customs for granted and see them as simply state agents carrying out their lawful duties. Indeed, customs officers are an important part of the State’s revenue-collection and border-protection apparatus. As essential border agents, they safeguard government revenues, while also acting as a crucial line of defence in the effort to stop illicit drugs and other contraband from entering the island. But in addition to those functions, or perhaps because of those duties, we at Kingston Wharves view Customs as an invaluable partner in the port and logistics industry,” Stephenson observed.

While lauding the customs officers for going beyond the call of duty to assist the KW team to manage the massive increase in cargo and customer volume during the season, Stephenson said, “Customs officers are integral to what we do; we literally could not do what we do without you.”

He cited instances of officers working weekends and late hours, working in the trenches with the KW team to expedite the cargo-clearance process to meet customer demand.

“We also heard about customs officers [who are] always being willing to remain to work with us late into the night,” Stephenson said.

He noted that the 2018 peak season was the first one since KWL relocated to its Total Logistics Facility (TLF) at 195 Second Street.

Kingston Wharves also presented a plaque to the Jamaica Customs Agency for its partnership. The award was accepted by Commissioner of Customs Velma Ricketts-Walker.

grateful

In her remarks, Ricketts-Walker thanked Kingston Wharves for the recognition. “For you to take the time out to have this appreciation for us, it is compelling; it says a lot, that you care for us, like we care for you,” she said.

Ricketts-Walker explained that Jamaica Customs was always pleased to work with KW, which was both a partner and customer, noting the importance of both entities working together to continuously improve delivery of services to customers.

“Particularly for Customs, I want all of us to always remember that we are a service organisation. We are the only Customs in this country and we must ensure we provide great service,” She underscored.

The Customs commissioner pointed to the construction of the TLF as a positive step towards improved service delivery, and noted, “Transformation takes a physical shift; transformation takes, also, its own psychological shifts; transformation takes a certain look and a certain image, and a certain delivery, so while we transform the physical shape, we (must) also transform how we do our own business and continue (to improve) the delivery of service,” Ricketts-Walker said.