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JIS News

Transshipment activities at the island’s ports of entry increased for the period January to March 2006, with 4,937,748 tonnes of cargo handled compared to 4,698,768 during the corresponding period in 2005.
As contained in the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) Economic Update and Outlook, the higher volume may be attributed to increased activities at the Port of Kingston and the out ports. Cargo flow at the Port of Kingston rose by 10.9 per cent, with increases in liquid bulk such as petroleum, which rose 24.1 per cent, and dry bulk, such as gypsum and wheat. Higher bauxite and alumina exports accounted for a 2.7 per cent increase handled at out ports.
Concomitant with capacity building, which has been underway at Kingston Terminal, the port accommodated 1,054 sea vessels, some 164 more than the amount, which visited in the same period in 2004/2005.
During the quarter, Maersk, the world’s largest shipping line, docked at the Kingston Container Terminal, which marked the first call under a five-year agreement with the Jamaican government to use the local port as a major transshipment hub.
On the matter of air transportation, a 13.6 per cent increase in passenger movement was realised in the January to March quarter, with 1,287,446 arriving at and departing from the two major international airports.
The report further stated that new business facilitated through Spirit and US Air led to a 15.1 per cent rise in passenger movement at the Norman Manley International Airport.
“The increase in passenger traffic at the Sangster International Airport was due mainly to the introduction of new businesses. During the quarter, there were increases in charter flights,” the report noted, stating that the Canadian carriers Canjet and Sunwing, as well as the U.S-based Allegiant Air, had brought significantly more passengers to Jamaica in the quarter under review, compared to the same period last year.
In terms of land transportation, the report said that during the review period, the Jamaica Urban Transport Company (JUTC) recorded a 31.9 increase in fare incomes, with revenues generated from charter trips and the sale of Smart Cards growing by 42.5 and 68.1 per cent, respectively. The growth resulted in earnings of some $64.7 million.
The report states that the boost in earnings was afforded by “increased marketing activities carried out by the JUTC” and the implementation of a new fare structure in August of 2005.
Meanwhile, there is indication that more public transportation operators are moving to regularize their operations. There were some 5,319 applications for public passenger vehicle licences, compared with 4,023 in the comparable period in 2005.