The race to be the logistics hub of the Americas has already begun with the addition of Jamaica that has revealed its intention to position the island as the rival of Singapore.
A similar situation is raking place with the Dominican Republic, while in Panama there is still a debate on the need for a long-term strategy that includes where to locate logistics parks.
In a note published in Lloyd’s List it has been reported that talks are being carried out by Jamaica with a number of foreign investors to develop land so that the island can handle larger volumes of sea and air cargo.
Recently, the Economic Affairs Officer of ECLAC, Gordon Wilmsemeir, said countries are orientating on breakbulk cargo and are focusing on giving added value to the cargo passing through their terminals, such as in the case of Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.
According to official statistics of ECLAC, the Kingston terminal had handled up until the first half of 2012, a total of 486,116 TEUs, ranking in fourteenth position in the listing of container movements in Latin America.
The Jamaican projects include increasing the movement of containers in the port of Kingston and developing the business of handling commodities, such as oil, coal, minerals and grains, as well as an air cargo hub through the construction of a cargo airport.
Chroust Casey, former vice president of the Retail Industry Leader Association (RILA) said that Jamaica has no maritime connectivity via a Canal or to provide for major US retailers expanding in Latin America.
The note advises that special economic zones are also being conceptualized by a wide range of local and foreign investors.
The initiative, led by the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Trade of Jamaica, would transform the island into a global supply and logistics center to match Singapore, Dubai and Rotterdam. Panama aims for something similar, but land for new logistics parks intended for international cargo handling has not yet been defined, nor has the Air Cargo Terminal at Tocumen yet been developed, although officials of Tocumen, S. A, have announced that they will soon be starting on this project.
The Lloyd’s List report cites Anthony Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce of Jamaica, saying their project would open new opportunities for investors, logistics providers, distributors, manufacturers and suppliers worldwide.
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