Juan Carlos Núñez,Hamilton y Co. consignee CEO and one of Asocelpa’s partners, takes stock of the return of the cruises to Las Palmas.
– First of all, we would like to know your assessment about the restart of cruise operations in the Port of Las Palmas. How has it been?
We can qualify it as a positive reset. The Canary Islands is the first world zone that has been consolidated as safe in times of Covid.TUI started its activity in November, but this month other shipping companies will join.
We want to acknowledge and thank the great work done by the Health and Port authorities to establish a protocol that is working correctly, along with the shipping companies.
– What are your December forecasts, and more specifically, for the Christmas holidays?
As already announced, two companies are going to start cruises in the Canary Islands from the first week of this month. TUI has also confirmed that it will bring a second vessel as of the second half of December. This movement is sure to encourage other shipping companies to start their activity again. In addition, the opening of the UK market may reactivate other companies more focused on British customers.
– Do you consider it necessary to make any kind of investment to improve the infrastructures and the quality of the services provided to the cruise sector?
It is necessary to redefine and update the Santa Catalina terminal and at the same time, to assess what other port areas we can develop in the future. If we want to continue growing and attracting more shipping companies, it will be necessary to look for new spaces for these large ships to dock.
– Aware of the difficulties we have gone through during this year 2020, what is your forecast for the consignee business during 2021?
We continue with a lot of uncertainty at a global level due to the worldwide pandemic that we are experiencing. The long-awaited arrival of the vaccine can surely help to begin to reactivate some traffic, although we believe that a possible bigger reactivation may arrive during the second half of 2021.
– Given your extensive experience in the sector, what competitive advantages do you think the Port of Las Palmas has and what we should develop in order to better position ourselves and gain competitiveness compared to other African ports?
Our great advantage continues to be our geographical position and our safety. This has been clearly seen during the pandemic, as we have been a refuge for many shipowners. On the other hand, world operators are committed to developing logistics bases in the Canary Islands as distribution centres. We have to continue enhancing the competitiveness of companies.
– Thank you very much for your time Juan Carlos. A pleasure.