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Making an impact with continual learning & development

Melissa Williams HM St. John's IHMA

For Melissa Williams, growing up on the island of Newfoundland in Canada, the sea was always prominent. Entering the maritime industry was a logical step and so, in 2002, she enrolled on a Nautical Science programme at the Marine Institute in St. John's. It proved to be the start of a career that would involve a wealth of both theoretical, and practical learning.

Having started her studies, Melissa did not have long to wait to gain some valuable experience on the water, as she explains.

“In the middle of my studies, during my cadet time, I received an offer to stay on board and work on deck. The captain made me promise I would return to my studies afterwards. So, I worked for a year on oil and gas supply vessels before going ashore to complete my studies.”

The experience Melissa gained was to stand her in good stead; on the day she graduated she received an offer for a job offshore. In this role, she continued to learn, combining her work with a distance learning course for a bachelor’s degree in Maritime Studies.

Melissa IHMA

Her work onboard also prepared Melissa for what was to come later in her career.

“I was working with a diverse group of people. It taught me how to navigate different personalities and how to get along with people of very different backgrounds. I learnt when to speak up – and when not to. It laid the groundwork for my career, that's for sure."

The pairing of work with further education was to become a pattern for Melissa. In 2009, she came ashore once more, taking on the role of Marine Operations Assistant at the local port authority. Here, she continued her studies, this time for a master’s degree in Marine Management. Graduating in 2015, she became the Port of St. John’s first female Harbour Master just one year later. She was all set to make a big impact.

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“When I moved into the role, I had projects in mind that I wanted to carry out. I made quite a few changes.”

There are numerous examples of Melissa’s achievements at this time. A few examples include her upgrading the port’s operations and procedures document, which went from a 20-page to a 70-page document.

Melissa also initiated a shore power programme in St. Johns, centralising shore power facilities under the management of the port authority. Such measures proved to be a boost in the port’s safety, efficiency and sustainability, as well as profitability.

A further example was Melissa’s instigation of a training programme for local firefighters.

“We have a fuel terminal and there are tanks in the hills. If we had a fire, the local fire department would respond, but they had no training in shipboard fires. They wouldn’t know that this was the engine room and that was the bridge. They wouldn’t know where they were going and what life-saving equipment was on board.”

Melissa started working with the fire department towards a solution. This led to her reaching out to the local university with the question could they create a programme training firefighters in shipboard firefighting.

Together, Melissa and the fire department approached port operators to make a contribution to the course – it being in everyone’s best interests to boost the fire department’s capabilities in the matter. The fire department also contributed. Ultimately, 36 firefighters undertook the training.

“That was fantastic,” she says. “Together we created, for the first time, a Port Safety Risk Committee here in St. John’s.”

With such a track record, it’s not surprising that Melissa’s efforts have frequently been recognised. She is, for example, a recipient of the Turning the Tide Next Wave Leadership Award. The same year, she also received the Marine Institute alumni award. Additionally, Melissa was awarded the Canadian Forces Award for providing support to the Canadian Navy during exercises.

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Also recognising Melissa’s work was Yoss Leclerc, former President of the IHMA.

“Yoss had seen some of the work I had done and sought me out. He set up a meeting and asked me to join.”

Somehow, between her work and all the projects she undertakes, Melissa found the time to become an active member of the IHMA.

 “I became part of a few working groups, and, after a while, Yoss contacted me again to inform me there was a place on the council. I was hesitant at first, but Yoss convinced me. I applied for the position, went for an interview and was accepted, which was great.”

Melissa has become a firm advocate for the IHMA, stressing the benefits of pooled knowledge and experience that it offers to its members.

“Before I was introduced to the IHMA I hadn’t realised that I had access to all these people who were working in similar roles on the same challenges and having to make the same decisions as me. We can really draw from one another. That’s of great value to me, and to all the people who are a part of the IHMA.”

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Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria
OceanWise Charting Water Workshop

Brought to you by OceanWise and Brewzone Africa - Join the first Charting Water Workshop entitled “Harnessing Environmental Data for Hydrography" which is running on the 15th - 16th April 2024 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel Lagos, Nigeria.

Bringing hydrography professionals together from all over West Africa, this intimate 2-day workshop will provide you with practical knowledge, guidance and best practice. You will enjoy a mix of presentations, round table discussions and training. Our expert speakers will guide you through the latest developments, technologies and methodologies used in hydrography, helping you understand the importance of accurate marine environmental monitoring data to support marine operations and national infrastructure. We will also have a number of key real-world case studies and local experts in attendance to provide some best practice and recent hands-on experiences.

Full details of the developing programme and registration can be found here on our Eventbrite page

Registration is now open. Spaces are limited so please register now to secure your place.

What will it cover?
This workshop will provide you with practical knowledge, guidance and best practice. You will enjoy a mix of presentations, round table discussions and training. Our expert speakers will guide you through the latest developments, technologies and methodologies used in hydrography, helping you understand the importance of accurate marine environmental monitoring data to support marine operations and national infrastructure.

Who is it for and why should I attend?
This is for professionals with an interest in Hydrography based in, or working in, West Africa.
Ideal for individuals from a variety of industries including Ports, Harbours, Inland Waterways, Oil and Gas, Education, Navy, Maritime Authorities, Research and Development etc etc
It offers a friendly and interactive environment to expand your knowledge, network with fellow professionals and collaborate on real-world case studies.

Gain valuable insights from industry experts, share your experiences, and receive a certification of completion on day two

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Navtech Conference 2023

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Navtech, 5th and 6th December 2023, Hollywood Beach Marriott, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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IHMA Congress 2024

Join us on a marine adventure in Morocco. The 14th International Harbour Master Congress will take place at Tanger Med Port Centre from 21-24 May 2024. This year’s theme is The Marine Adventure – Evolving and Adapting to Change in Today’s Ports. You are welcome to come along for three days of presentations, deliberations and discussions covering every step of the port call process. On the fourth day, you can enjoy a guided tour of the Port of Tranger Med. To learn more, or to register for the event, please visit the IHMA Congress EventBrite Page.

Introducing Tanger Med

Tanger Med is the 1st port in Africa and in the Mediterranean.

It’s a global logistics gateway located on the Strait of Gibraltar and connected to more than 180 ports worldwide with handling capacities of: 9 million containers, exports of 1 million new vehicles, transit of 7 million passengers and 700,000 trucks on an annual basis.

Cargoes handled

Containers

In 2021 7,173,870 TEU were handled in Tanger Med port complex, up by 24% compared to 2020. This traffic results from the steady increase of Tanger Med 2 port after the successive commissioning of the terminals TC4 in 2019 and TC3 in 2021.

This result confirms the leadership of Tanger Med in the Mediterranean and Africa, and consolidates the position of this major hub for global maritime alliances led respectively by Maersk Line, CMA CGM and Hapag Lloyd.

Tonnage

In 2021 101,054,713 tons of goods were handled for the first time in Tanger Med port complex, an increase of 25% compared to 2020. Indeed, the tonnage handled by Tanger Med port complex represents more than 50% of the overall tonnage handled by all Moroccan ports.

Trucks

The port complex handled 407,459 trucks in 2021, a rise of 14% compared to 2020. This traffic was mainly driven by the resumption of industrial exports as well as by the good performance of the agricultural season and agro-industrial exports.

Cars

Regarding new vehicles 429,509 were handled at the two vehicle terminals of Tanger Med port in 2021, an increase of 20% compared to the previous year. The traffic included: 278,651 Renault vehicles including 250,532 for export. A rise in exports of PSA vehicles totalled 100,030 cars.

Liquid bulk

Liquid bulk traffic has increased by 9% compared to 2020. It recorded a total traffic of 8,744,900 tons of hydrocarbons handled.

Solid bulk

Solid bulk traffic recorded a total of 342,804 tons processed, an increase of 13% compared to 2020 driven by the traffic of steel coils, wind blades and grain.

Traffic

Growing maritime traffic saw 10,902 vessels calling at Tanger Med in 2021, up by 12% from 2020. Over the past year, the port complex has welcomed nearly 929 mega-ships (over 290 metres loa).

The position of Tanger Med

This performance above accomplished during 2021 affirms the position of the port complex as a major strategic hub emphasising its role as a key logistics platform serving the nations logistic competitiveness.

Achievements are the result of the continued collaboration of all partners of Tanger Med port complex, particularly ship owners, concessionaires, local authorities and administrations.

 

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AMPI

For 25 years AMPI has been recognised as the professional body for developing, setting and leading in the evolution of industry standards, safety management protocols and advising regulatory bodies on matters related to Marine Pilotage.

As a globally recognised organisation and partner of the International Maritime Pilots Association (IMPA), we directly contribute to the work of the International Maritime Organisation. With over 260 active pilot members, we have the experience and know-how to develop widely recognised industry guidelines including initial and continual pilotage training standards. AMPI continues to influence the development of world-leading practice and in doing so brings a higher level of safety to the ports and regions where our members operate.

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Latest News & Events

Newhaven receives CTV pontoon upgrade to support Rampion Offshore Wind Farm Newhaven receives CTV pontoon upgrade to support Rampion Offshore Wind Farm

As part of the refurbishment for the operations and maintenance (O&M) base for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, Inland and Coastal Marina Systems (ICMS) has installed a floating concrete… FIND OUT MORE

IHMA Congress 2024 IHMA announces 2024 Congress: The Marine Adventure – Evolving and adapting to change in today’s ports.

The International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) and Tanger Med Port Authority are pleased to announce the 14th International Harbour Masters Congress. The key theme of… FIND OUT MORE

Latest News & Events

As part of the refurbishment for the operations and maintenance (O&M) base for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, Inland and Coastal Marina Systems (ICMS) has installed a floating concrete breakwater within the Port of Newhaven to provide safe berthing facilities for crew transfer vessels (CTVs).

The International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) and Tanger Med Port Authority are pleased to announce the 14th International Harbour Masters Congress. The key theme of this 2024 event is The Marine Adventure – Evolving and adapting to change in today’s ports. Tanger Med Port Authority will host the congress at the Tanger Med Port Center from 21 to 24 May 2024.