Friday 19 July, 2019

Corporate giants propose deeper partnership with government

Industry Minister Audley Shaw (left) with Clover Moore (centre) CFO Kingston Wharves Limited and Jeffrey Hall (right) CEO JP Group as they tour the Kingston Wharves Auto Transhipment facility.

Industry Minister Audley Shaw (left) with Clover Moore (centre) CFO Kingston Wharves Limited and Jeffrey Hall (right) CEO JP Group as they tour the Kingston Wharves Auto Transhipment facility.

Two Jamaican corporate giants are proposing deeper public private partnerships with government to accelerate the development of port-centred logistics.

Jamaica Producers and Kingston Wharves made the proposal during a port tour with Industry Minister Audley Shaw at a presentation last Friday.

The food and logistics conglomerate group highlighted its over $7b in investment in business development over the last four years in both food and logistics and indicated that stronger ties with the government through MICAF would allow it to significantly increase the pace of investment over the next four years.

In a presentation to Shaw,  Jeffery Hall, JP Group CEO, highlighted the investment in bakery operations under the Tortuga brand targeted at the tourism industry and the export programme for JP St Mary’s tropical snacks.  The most significant aspect of the investment programme, however, was in the logistics space and the rapid growth of Kingston as an automotive logistics hub. 

"JP has demonstrated its commitment to major investment in Jamaica’s logistics capabilities.  We are prepared to work closely with Minister Shaw and others in government, to accelerate the programme and deliver the best result for Jamaica. Jamaica and Kingston Wharves have a unique and immediate opportunity to build a high quality global logistics center. The sector remains heavily regulated, however, so it can only benefit from better cooperation with the government" stated Jeffrey Hall.

Industry Minister Audley Shaw (left) Jeffrey Hall (centre) CEO Jamaica Producers Group and Charles Johnston Chairman Jamaica Producers Group.

Jamaica Producers sees the huge immediate potential for the Kingston Wharves development of purpose - built warehousing which would create a ready opportunity for KW to become the regional headquarters of the automotive logistics industry. One such development could include value added facilities such as pre-delivery inspection centres.

Minister Shaw congratulated Jamaica Producers on the investment programme and agreed to cooperate to further facilitate the next phase of the investment programme.  

“The Jamaica Producers Group has an impressive agenda of development that the Government of Jamaica welcomes. I am encouraged by the thrust to position Jamaica as a regional leader in logistics, especially as an automotive logistics hub. They certainly have the know-how and the capacity for this agenda and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries is keenly looking at the avenues for Public and Private Partnerships that can be fostered under this growth thrust. We cannot simply ‘talk’ about spurring growth, we must support this with the actions necessary to inspire and support this growth,” Minister Shaw said.

The port tour, led by executives of the Jamaica Producers Group and Kingston Wharves, included a tour of the Main Port Terminal, with stops at Berth 1, the Grain Silos, Berth 5 (auto transshipment discharge) and Berths 8 & 9 which house the largest Liebherr Mobile Harbour Cranes (LHM 600) in the Caribbean using the most advanced design, engineering and production technology. The LHM 600 is characterized by rapid and efficient handling. It optimally manages the handling of containers, as well as general and bulk cargoes. With an outreach of up to 58 metres, the LHM 600 is the ideal handling solution for ships up to Super Post-Panamax size.

The tour continued with a visit to the KWGlobal Auto Logistics Centre, a full-service (including Jamaica Customs), near-port domestic automotive centre on 18 acres at Tinson Pen, within the proposed Special Economic Zone, which is benefitting both terminal operations and integrated logistics.  The centre offers opportunities for global logistics akin to automobiles, warehousing of auto-parts, tires and other motor vehicle accessories as well as the efficient storage and delivery of services to the domestic market.

The final stop of the Port Tour featured the Total Logistics Facility (TFL) - a 160,000 square foot, state of the art logistics complex. The TFL is an intelligently and energy efficient designed warehousing complex with accompanying administrative space to support customs processing and customer support requirements of supply chain management and global distribution.

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