JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The country has been designated the sub-regional hub for relief operations in the event of disasters.
  • This move will allow for fast and effective delivery of assistance in disaster situations.
  • The designation of Jamaica as the sub-regional hub was made by head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

As Jamaica prepares to position itself as the fourth node in the global logistics chain, the country has been designated the sub-regional hub for relief operations in the event of disasters.

Making the announcement, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said this move will allow for greater efficiency and management of regional and international humanitarian supplies and for fast and effective delivery of assistance in disaster situations.

“This designation will mean a strengthening of the logistics link between Jamaica and Panama, which has been designated the Regional Logistics Centre for Humanitarian Assistance for the Americas in the provision of post disaster humanitarian relief,” he said.

The Minister was speaking on Wednesday, November 13, at the TechConnect 2013 conference and exposition at the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) headquarters in Kingston.

He noted that the designation of Jamaica as the sub-regional hub, was made by head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Baroness Amos, and is in keeping with efforts to enhance regional co-operation in disaster preparedness and humanitarian response.

“Relief operations….that’s a major logistics exercise and it means therefore that…they see the build out of Jamaica’s existing facility, the promise of the logistics hub as a major part of, and a major reason for making Jamaica the sub-regional operations centre,” he said.

The Minister contented that in the future, it is likely that Jamaica’s global logistics hub operation will be seen “as a sort of magnet for multinational corporations whose products and services are directly or indirectly involved in the logistics associated with disaster management and disaster relief”.

“This is a major feather in Jamaica’s cap and strengthens our resolve in expediting the establishment of Jamaica’s global logistics hub. More importantly, it sends a clear signal that the global community understands the geo-strategic importance of Jamaica to global logistics,” he said.

The Government’s Logistics Hub Initiative aims to take advantage of the anticipated increase in maritime activities from the expansion of the Panama Canal, scheduled for completion by 2016.

Jamaica is deemed ideally positioned for this undertaking, based on the country’s location, midway between North and South America, and in close proximity to the canal.

Forming part of the Government’s strategic priorities  for 2013/14, in the area of job creation and economic growth, the initiative will see Jamaica becoming the fourth node in the global logistics chain, along with facilities at Rotterdam, Netherlands; Singapore; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Key elements of the initiative include: development of the Caymanas Economic Zone; dredging of the Kingston Harbour; establishing a Dry Dock facility at Jackson Bay, Clarendon and a trans-shipment commodity port facility near Yallahs, St. Thomas; and developing an air cargo and passenger facility at Vernamfield in Clarendon.

The conference and expo formed part of activities for the first annual TechConnect Week, organised by Advantum, from November 13 to 15.

The week, themed: ‘Securing the Logistics Chain: People, Equipment, Technology’, will feature presentations and discussions about securing the key aspects of the logistics chain whilst highlighting the need to view security from a holistic perspective.

Formerly Port Computer Services, Advantum is a subsidiary of the SAJ, which provides technological infrastructure and systems support to the Caribbean maritime sector.