Mon | Sep 24, 2018

SAJ hails the bright future of Jamaican logistics

Published:Tuesday | September 4, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Shipping Association of Jamaica President Denise Lyn Fatt

The Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) would like to record its pleasure at the interest of the regulators in developing facilities to attract additional logistics investors as shown in an article published in The Gleaner on August 29, 2018 entitled 'Line already forming for Kingston logistics park'. It is the desire of every business sector to have the Government join in the provision of opportunities for a wide scale of investors towards unlocking our country's growth potential.

Despite the global climate of shifting shipping lanes, mergers, and consolidations, Kingston has always worked to maintain a strong position among its competitors.

In addition to having world-class infrastructure and processes, a successful logistics hub requires strong connectivity to the world's maritime network and effective stakeholder participation.

A logistics hub is like a bicycle wheel - with many spokes, the spokes being the carriers leading to the logistics centers. The Port of Kingston has attracted and maintained relationships with top shipping lines in the world as part of the region's dynamic supply chain. At present, Kingston partners with not only the CMA CGM line as suggested in the August 29 article, but also Zim Integrated Shipping, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Seaboard Marine, Evergreen Line, Crowley Line, Maersk Line, Sealand, Orient Overseas Container Line, Schuler Line , Hapag Lloyd, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, ONE Line, Hamburg Sud and Costco, Hoegh Autoliners, Mitsui O.S.K Line and others. Several of these have decades-old relationships with Kingston. We are also served by feeder lines Caribbean Feeder Service (CFS), Marifreight, and X-Press Feeder.

 

Deeply involved

 

In addition to maintaining relationships with top shipping lines, SAJ member companies have for decades been deeply involved in the development of Jamaica as a location for logistics activities. Since 2006, member company Kingston Logistics Center Limited (KLC) has been a logistics services provider, connecting Jamaica to the Caribbean network, as well as to Central and South America. As a part of Zim's Ports and Logistics Global Logistics Network, KLC harnesses the expertise, relationship and reach of one of the largest container shipping companies in the world. With free-zone status, it has been one of the pioneers of value-added logistics services.

Fellow pioneer Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) opened their KW Global Auto Logistics Centre in December 2017. The facility is a full-service near-port domestic automotive centre located on 18 acres of land at Tinson Pen within the proposed special economic zone. It enhances both terminal operations and integrated logistics, offering opportunities for global logistics akin to automobiles; warehousing of auto parts, tyres, and other motor vehicle accessories; and the efficient storage and delivery of services to the domestic market.

This was followed by the January 2018 opening of Kingston Wharves' Total Logistics Facility (TLF) - a 160,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art logistics complex. The TLF is an energy-efficient, intelligently designed warehousing complex. It boasts accompanying administrative spaces to support customs processing and customer-support requirements of supply-chain management and global distribution. This development, which provides for swift movement of cargo, has significantly improved the ease of doing logistics-related business. The extent of KWL's services includes warehousing; inventory management; product re-packaging, labelling and assembly; warehouse rental arrangements; and picking and packing inventory control and distribution for local and international clients.

With these game-changing developments, KWL has cemented its position as the Caribbean's leading multipurpose port terminal and logistics provider, serving the region and the world with a suite of flexible services ranging from mixed cargo handling to distribution. It facilitates connections to more than 40 ports around the world.

Having set this ambitious pace of logistics growth and development, the president of the SAJ, Mrs Denise Lyn Fatt, expressed pleasure at the pace of development across the logistics landscape in a recent interview. "This is how the Jamaican economy will grow, when industries strengthen and develop their offerings to their local and international clients," she said. "It's not just roads and buildings, but the provision of world-class value-added services to a variety of local and global clients.

"Efficient business processes are also very critical to our success. We are awaiting the passage of the new Customs Act, which we expect to fulfil its trade-facilitation mandate to add to the improvements which have been made by the private sector. We also look forward to the completion of the special economic zone regulations, which have unfortunately been lagging behind the anticipated pace.

"The future of logistics is bright. We are willing to do what it takes, and we are confident that other parties will as well."