Member of

 
   

OUTGOING PRESIDENT’S FAREWELL NOTE
THIRTY SECOND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (2009–2010)


I am being ‘Ex’ed shortly and will step away with my walking stick making way for the young bulls (in spirit and looks) who will propel MANSA forward.

I will not pretend to be a wise old man with pearls of wisdom to be passed on to my learned colleagues who know me to be of the ‘mukadam’ class, more comfortable lending a hand to the labour than giving a speech or uttering platitudes that sound gracious and intellectual or make good reading.

The next two years are going to be exciting with a steady increase in Trade and business activities. The whole shipping business is steadily changing and moving from the mere sea voyage to Total Logistics, not only in the Container Trade but also in the Breakbulk and Bulk Trade. We can no longer sit on our laurels and say that we are “Ship Agents” of repute and wait for business to come our way. Many, so called multinationals, self acclaimed Professional and Traditional Agencies have fallen by the wayside because they were unwilling to accept the changes. We need to think of ways to give our customers, be it Shippers, Traders or End users, a seamless service from ‘The place of Origin to Consumption’.

Rigidity in our business processes and lack of respect for our smaller Customers has made us extremely vulnerable. ‘Customer is King’ should always be the mantra, irrespective of the size of the business the Customer brings to us, although a lot of them are unable to understand the rules of the game. We have no choice but to be courteous and patient to make them understand rather than be standoffish!

Our lack of focus and understanding of ‘Customer Relations’ has led to the consolidation and unification of Trade Bodies to convince the Government on the need for the introduction of a “Trade Practices Act”. Some of us, including the Trade Bodies, are now in the process of forming a ‘Redressal Forum’ to try and iron out the differences/misunderstandings between the Service Provider and the Service User. Hopefully, this process will considerably reduce the need for invoking the ‘TPA’, Otherwise all of us are going to need a team of experts to attend to frivolous complaints and cases filed.

Two years ago when the present Executive Committee was formed, we made out a “Wish List”. These were long pending and important issues that our members needed to have resolved to ensure our interests were protected and our liabilities reduced to acceptable levels. Despite our best efforts, we have not been able to accomplish these tasks; however, we have made a good start and must continue to pursue these issues with renewed effort.

Some unfortunate incidents have taken place in the last three months, which we need to highlight at all meetings with important Port and Government officials. A strong request to our ‘Luminaries’ who, in the course of their normal business activities, meet important Government officials, to drive these points through.

We need to push our agenda forward at every high level meeting with Port & Government officials and should highlight the recent incident of the ‘gas leak’ of dangerous cargo at Haji Bunder. One of the main reasons for the accident is the long period of storage, (due to deferred decision making and various other procedural delays) in the port, pending disposal.

MANSA has been representing the need to speed up the sale of uncleared cargoes and release of containers holding detained cargoes. The sale of cargoes within the stipulated time period as allowed by the Major Port Trust Act and the release of detained cargoes, by Customs Authorities, within a time bound period would not only release our Principals assets for further trade but also considerably reduce the ‘Sale Deficit’ cases pending in court, thereby reducing our Members’ risks and liabilities.

The recent collision between the Khalija 3 and the MSC Chitra in the Main Channel is another incident that needs to be highlighted to ensure the formation of a “Unified Mumbai Harbour Authority”. This accident has exposed the vulnerability of the busiest Ports of India that could have been closed for an indefinite period.

MANSA has been trying to promote the idea of a Single Authority for Mumbai Harbour that services not only Mumbai Port and J.N. Port but also a lot of other Minor and Private ports around Mumbai. We need a focused and an unbiased Authority to ensure that the needs of all the ports, Mumbai City and the entire region are properly serviced, protected, facilities enhanced, and infrastructure improved for the common good of all.

This Authority would not only ensure the security, environment and navigational safety of the entire region but would also ensure that the resources of all the players are shared for more economical value to the entire Trade.

A sincere request and appeal to the new Executive Committee, Members, Luminaries and the Past Presidents to take an active interest in the affairs and progress of MANSA. This is the only way we can grow in strength and make ourselves heard.



Best wishes to all.

V. C. D’SOUZA
PRESIDENT

MANSA is a legally recognized, industry
acknowledged and completely unified
body of Ship Agents operating in
Mumbai Port and Jawaharlal Nehru Port .