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KWL, Höegh Autoliners launch motor vehicle transhipment hub

Published:Tuesday | March 2, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry (second left), closely examines a replica of the Höegh Caribia, while Tore Listad (left), line representative from Höegh Autoliners and Grantley Stephenson (right), chairman and chief executive officer (CEO)...

Norwegian-based Höegh Autoliners has launched its new motor vehicle transhipment hub, in what the company's representative, Tore Listad, has described as the "heart of the Caribbean", Kingston.

Speaking at the launch of the partnership with Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) last Friday, Listad said the move will see Höegh operating a direct service from Europe to Jamaica, to serve the Caribbean territories of Suriname, Guyana, French Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas, Grand Cayman, Cuba and The Dominican Republic. Höegh is represented by local agents, International Shipping Limited.

"This is the start of a new era for us (Höegh) in the Caribbean and we are very enthusiastic about this process here in Jamaica," Listad said.

The launch took place aboard the Höegh Caribia which made its first voyage to the Caribbean last Thursday. The Höegh Caribia is the designated vessel for the Caribbean region and can accommodate up to 2000 cars.

Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry thanked Höegh for choosing Jamaica as its transhipment hub. He congratulated KWL for its creativity and noted that the new venture would provide employment for drivers.

The move by Höegh, KWL and International Shipping, he said, speaks to the vision to develop Jamaica as a multi-modal transhipment port for the world.

Historic service

Describing the new service to Jamaica from Europe as a historic one, Grantley Stephenson, chairman and chief executive officer of KWL has said, "the opportunities are endless through this direct channel for us here in Jamaica, as well as the rest of the Caribbean region".

The initiative, he said, speaks volumes about the confidence that Höegh Autoliners have placed in Jamaica, and noted that KWL will endeavour to demonstrate that their confidence is not misplaced.

"We look forward to sustaining a mutually beneficial relationship with Höegh Autoliners, and their agent, International Shipping Limited, as we work together to ensure success and profitability," Stephenson said.

Robert Kinlocke, chief executive officer of International Shipping Limited, welcomed Höegh Autoliner to Kingston, noting that the port has excellent facilities.

"We are delighted that another great shipping line has decided to come to Kingston," Kinlocke said. "We are excited about the economic benefits to Jamaica."

Höegh Autoliners is a leading global provider of Roll-on/Roll-off vehicle transportation services. The hub in Kingston will improve transit time for the East Asia-US trade, and will continue to offer first class service for on-carriage to Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad, French Guiana, Bahamas, Grand Cayman, and a full scope of other destinations possible through inducement.

In its initial stage, it is expected that the transhipment of approximately 15,000 to 20,000 cars and large motor vehicles including trucks, buses and earth-moving equipment will be facilitated by KWL on a yearly basis. It is anticipated that these figures will increase. Approximately 10 acres of land has been dedicated to this new venture.