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KWL to develop 300,000-sq-ft warehousing complex in Kingston

Published:Sunday | June 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Chief executive Officer of Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) Grantley Stephenson announced that the port terminal and logistics provider will be expanding its near-port logistics facilities in Kingston by developing a new 14-acre modular warehousing complex. The investment is valued at US$30m. Stephenson made the announcement at Kingston Wharves' annual general meeting, held on Thursday, June 21.

The new complex, to be sited on Ashenhiem Road, will host two state-of-the-art modular and multipurpose facilities that will include 100,000 square feet of ambient and temperature-controlled storage, and 200,000 square feet of dry storage to increase the company's capacity for storage and transhipment of goods. The facility will be in line with global standards, and will expand the capabilities of Jamaica's logistics sector, as light manufacturing and more value-added services will be accommodated at the new development.

The warehouse is proposed to be a special economic zone facility and will, therefore, benefit from its special conditions, therefore providing manufacturers and distributors with increased benefits when utilising Jamaica as a logistics hub in the region. Kingston Wharves has noted that the warehouse is being developed for lease or joint-venture partnerships.

In addition to this project, Kingston Wharves is also proposing the establishment of a pre-delivery inspection centre at Tinson Pen. The KWL's CEO said this was in response to the recent announcement by the Jamaican Government, that used car dealers will have to utilise the services of a company in Japan to do pre-shipment inspections prior to shipping to Jamaica. KWL proposes to have this service done in Jamaica at a lower cost to importers and to also extend the service to regional players.

After revealing the new projects and investments, Stephenson said that Kingston Wharves was focused on its "next step logistics" strategy that aims to modernise and expand Jamaica's logistics sector.

He said the company's board of directors has identified multiple opportunities in logistics, building on Jamaica's advantageous location in the Western Hemisphere and proximity to major shipping lanes, as well as logistics centres like the Panama Canal and hundreds of millions of consumers.

He explained that this new facility was one element of the strategy, which included training of staff and expansion of services.