Vulnerable youth to benefit from logistics hub
The Logistics Hub programme will have numerous benefits for Jamaicans, especially in providing jobs for the unemployed and vulnerable youth, noted executive director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute, Dr Fritz Pinnock.
It is a government-backed programme to establish Jamaica as the premier logistics node within the Americas, to capitalise on the trade and business opportunities that will emanate from the expansion of the Panama Canal.
Pinnock said the greatest benefit to Jamaica "is that you get people to work".
"The logistics is here. It's not something that is coming. It's already here. Already, we have an international port. People are doing business. We're adding value. We're shipping out things all over the place, so we're doing logistics. The only thing is that we want to expand this in a way that we can create greater value for Jamaica," he explained.
Jamaica sits at the intersection of several maritime and aviation routes to the Americas, Europe, and Western Africa. As such, businesses located in Jamaica can readily access large commercial markets in North, Central and South America (totalling more than 800 million people). Jamaica's logistics hub will provide businesses with prime opportunities for swift delivery to final consumers, with substantial cost savings.
With strategic investment and global partnerships, the Jamaica logistics hub will include:
- Maritime and air cargo logistics hubs;
- Strategic storage, handling and processing points for bulk commodities;
- Expansive special economic zones facilitating assembly, warehousing, sorting, distribution and other value-added services, particularly for industries catering to time-sensitive and high-value cargo;
- Aviation-related maintenance repair and overhaul, ship repair and dry-docking;
- A robust digital network to support efficient global value chain tracking and tracing as well as e-commerce operations.