KINGSTON — Between 2004 and 2011, revenue at the Kingston Container Terminal has more than doubled from $6 billion to just over $12 billion per year.
This was disclosed to JIS News by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Dr. Alwin Hales, who also pointed out that the facility is the country's primary transshipment facility and the Port Authority of Jamaica's main revenue earner.
“It is a major player in the regional transshipment market. The terminal has maintained its commanding position in the region through sustained efforts and marketing. We are positioning the port of Kingston to be the primary transshipment location in the region after the expansion of the Panama Canal is completed in 2014,” the Permanent Secretary said.
“The port provides a convenient point for transshipment, logistic and container activities that will make for the efficient movement of goods throughout the region,” he added.
Dr. Hales informed JIS News that expansion works by the Port Authority have, over the years, resulted in capacity increasing from 400,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to the current 2.8 million TEUs.
“The first expansion was in 1995-1997 when it went from 400,000 to 800,000 TEUs, then in 1999-2001, it went to 1.2 million TEUs; in 2005 it was increased to 1.5 million TEUs, and between 2005 and 2008, it was increased to 2.8 million TEUs,” the Permanent Secretary said.
Highlighting some of the benefits accrued to the country as a result of the expansion, Dr. Hales said that one key element is employment.
“Many local jobs were created during the construction phase of these developments as well as personnel working within the Port Authority itself, and associated stakeholders who service the ports,” he noted.
“Business revenue to the Port Authority has increased with these phases of expansion. In addition to that, there have been benefits to the economy in terms of tax revenues, and other charges and fees associated with the shipping industry,” the Permanent Secretary pointed out.
He informed that during 2010, calls to seaports were 3,635, some seven per cent higher than the previous year.
“The port of Kingston remains the main port of call, as there were 2,464 calls in 2010, some 273 more than the previous year. The port of Montego Bay received 330, while 219 vessels called at the port of Ocho Rios, and there were 622 calls at other ports,” Dr. Hales said.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter