CPA to explore real-time communication tech for seaports

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Commonwealth Ports Authority chair Kimberlyn King-Hinds chairs her first Association of Pacific Ports conference as its recently elected president. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Following her first experience as the Association of Pacific Ports conference chair, Commonwealth Ports Authority’s Kimberlyn King-Hinds has brought new ideas to improve the CNMI’s ports of entry and one of those ideas is a digital platform for real-time communication.

King-Hinds said one of the components of the conference was focused on learning about the latest technologies that will make ports more efficient. It was during this discussion when a digital platform for real-time communication was introduced.

“There’s a move now to digitize and connect to a platform where everyone from the captain of the ship, the ports authority, customs, quarantine, [and] port operators are communicating in real-time when a vessel calls port,” she said.

King-Hinds said CPA will explore the idea and possibly bring the technology to the CNMI’s seaports as it promotes efficiency as well as improvement.

“It promotes efficiency and collects much needed data so that you can tell where the gaps are in the efficiency of the operations. I would like to explore bringing that technology to our seaports,” she said.

In addition, King-Hinds said the biggest topic discussed during the three-day conference was the disruption in America’s supply chain and the ongoing efforts to ease the bottleneck in West Coast ports and the impact it has on distribution across the supply chain.

“What was great about facilitating the meeting was to be a part of the conversation that was not focused on the problem. It was a conversation amongst stakeholders who included critical cross-intersectional public/quasi-public/governmental entities, and private industry partners about the role that they respectively played in the problem and how they can work together to address the problem. That’s the kind of mindset that I want to cultivate at CPA and in my other areas of work,” she said.

Overall, King-Hinds said, the experience was amazing. To top it off, she was able to share a little bit of the CNMI everyday as she greeted them with a warm hafa adai and tirow.

“It was an amazing experience. I got to meet presidents and CEOs of ports from Canada to San Diego, federal government partners from the Department of Transportation, Army Corp; experts in maritime; hear about the latest technology and services in the industry and build relationships with them over the course of the conference. I learned so much from engaging with them. Most of our problems can be solved if we are willing to listen to one another, understand where we are in the cog, and know how to get out of our own way so that we can resolve our challenges. That takes being able to have a civil discourse amongst stakeholders and I am proud to see that already happening here in the CNMI with the Governor’s GCEA,” she said.

“Whether we like the ideas or not, work is being done and public and private industries are collaborating to figure out how to get this economy going. There are a few ideas that I’ve brought back that I hope will be an added value to the ongoing conversation. With all that said, the coolest thing about the conference was that I was able to stand in front of people every single day and say hafa adai, tirow, and good morning,” she added.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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