Wed | Dec 12, 2018

Line already forming for Kingston Logistics Park

Published:Wednesday | August 29, 2018 | 12:00 AMAvia Collinder/Business Reporter
Edmond Marsh, vice-president for business development at Port Authority of Jamaica.

The logistics park being developed by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) is two years away from completion, but already various businesses in food distribution, equipment and parts, and fast moving consumer goods are expressing interest in the Kingston hub.

That's according to the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) which contracted CHEC last December to develop a "world-class" facility, the centrepiece of which is a 18,000-square metre warehouse that will take up more than half of a 31,700 square metre property known as the Old Caribbean Feeder Services lands on waterfront.

"It will be a modern facility, comparable to what is found in the United States, to meet international standards. For example, the height will be above 10 metres so you can do racking of up to six racks," said PAJ vice-president for business development , Edmond Marsh.

"There will be wide spaces. These are what clients are looking for. It will also be environmentally friendly. It will be comparable to any warehouse you can find in Florida, Panama or Costa Rica," he said Tuesday.

The US$28.5-million Kingston Logistics Park project is broadly intended to create infrastructure and supporting facilities to tap into increased business coming through the expanded Panama Canal.

The warehouse will be complemented by a separate secondary 1,550-square metre facility to house a number of law-enforcement agencies - including the Container Security Initiative and Jamaica Customs Agency - that monitor Jamaica's maritime and cargo-related activities, as well as other international agreements that Jamaica is a party to, the Port Authority told the Financial Gleaner.

For the warehouse, the focus will be on firms - local and global - that require modern warehouse facilities for cargo value-added and logistics, the PAJ said, adding that such firms would essentially be clients and users of the port of Kingston involved in serving international markets.

"The facilities are specifically targeted to global supply chain firms, some of which already use Kingston, to provide a wide set of logistics activities to markets in the region; USA East and Gulf Coast, South and Central America, Caribbean and even Europe," said the PAJ.

 

CAPITALISING ON TRANS-SHIPMENT HUB

 

They will be capitalising on "Jamaica's central location, as well a modern global trans-shipment hub, the presence of CMA CGM, and the connectivity to global and regional markets that Kingston offers," the Port Authority said.

From as far back as July 2012, the Port Authority and CHEC had executed a memorandum of Understanding for the proposed development of a hub and ancillary facilities at Fort Augusta. But feasibility studies led to a conclusion that the land identified was not suitable for the project.

In April 2013, the parties executed an addendum to the agreement for other areas to be explored for development of the project. In Kingston, 198 acres of West Terminal lands and 12 acres of near-port real estate in Montego Bay were subsequently earmarked for the construction of logistics parks.

Marsh said the MoBay park is targeted for development a year from now.

"We are just now preparing documents for inviting expressions of interest with terms of reference. We hope to go to tender shortly for that building. By the time it goes through, that's another three months plus nine months to do the building. So in one year that building should be ready," he said.

"The cost cannot be commented on until the proposals are in."

Alongside the warehouse and law-enforcement centre in Kingston, CHEC is also constructing a 1,500-metre-long road network, with the option for a 235 by 10 metre bridge to link the Kingston Container Terminal to the Tinson Pen Lands, the Port Authority said.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com