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JAMAICA - Free zone status approval marks three phase development at Kingston Wharves

After receiving the government’s long-awaited approval of its bid for free zone status, the Jamaican terminal operator Kingston Wharves Ltd (KWL) has announced an investment of US$70 million in facilities with a view to expanding its operations over the coming five years. Its stated goal is to become the world’s leading multipurpose port.

The expansion will be carried out in three phases. Initially, KWL will step up its logistics operations, streamlining its warehousing and offering modular warehouse space in the free zone. The next stage will be to extend the port’s boundary and relocate three warehouses from the dock to a new facility. The remaining on-dock warehouses will be dismantled and the domestic and transshipment stacking areas repositioned.

Customs processing will be integrated into a new, purpose-built, ultramodern logistics complex that will operate 24 hours a day. This work is expected to be completed in two years.

Phase two will involve investing in post panamax ship-to-shore gantry cranes and optimizing the port’s layout in readiness for the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in 2016 including a total renovation of the container stacking yard. The terminal will also be dredged from 15.0 to 25.0 meters depth.

The third phase will to position the terminal as world-class port-centered logistics hub, capable of expansion on demand and operating to first-world standards.