Holness says logistics hub initiative now materialising

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, says the planned development of Jamaica's Logistics Hub Initiative (LHI) is now materialising.

“The dream has begun (as) we are seeing the first signs of it with major investments along the (Marcus Garvey Drive) corridor,” he said.

The prime minister was speaking at yesterday's ceremony to break ground for the Foreshore Estate housing development in Delacree Pen, south-west St Andrew.

Holness said logistics operations have commenced on land that Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) has leased at the Tinson Pen Aerodrome, which is adjacent to Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston.

In his 2018/19 Budget Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on March 20, the prime minister explained that the land is being developed with a view to converting Kingston into the Automobile Logistics Centre for the Caribbean.

This activity is part of the proposed development of lands adjacent to the port of Kingston into a modern competitive near-port logistics centre.

“The plans are to develop all of these lands to house modern logistics facilities, which will be connected to the terminal by an efficient and cost-effective transportation system,” he said.

Additionally, KWL has launched its new 160,000-square-foot Total Logistics Centre, which has seen all of the space being taken up.

The Port Authority of Jamaica has also started construction of a modern 200,000-square-foot logistics facility immediately adjacent to Kingston Free Port Terminal Limited.

Meanwhile, Holness said Foreshore Estate will provide affordable homes for persons employed under the Logistics Hub Initiative.

He noted that the project forms part of overall plans for the community, aimed at, among other things, repositioning the area to support aspects of the Hub being developed along Marcus Garvey Drive, Newport, and the port of Kingston.

“One of the reasons we were very eager to see this development done is that we know that it will create the dormitory environment for the labour force to support (those) industrial developments. So it fits neatly into a greater development plan,” he said.

Foreshore Estate, which will comprise 230 high-quality affordable housing units, is being undertaken by World Homes Jamaica Limited in partnership with the National Housing Trust.

Holness said the project will provide an opportunity for the transformation of Delacree Pen and its environs, emphasising that “this is an opportunity to spread development beyond the gates of this community”.

He indicated that the venture also involves significant infrastructure improvement, “where we will solving the traffic issues at the intersection of Marcus Garvey Drive, Spanish Town Road and Hagley Park Road”.

“There will be some dislocation… (so) we ask the residents and the commuting public to understand,” he urged.

The Logistics Hub Initiative seeks to establish Jamaica as the premier logistics node within the Americas, to capitalise on trade and business opportunities emanating from the Panama Canal's expansion.

It includes plans to further develop national infrastructure assets, such as ports, airports, roads, utilities and special economic zones, and attract private-sector investment in logistics, transportation and other value-added sectors.

Jamaica's Logistics Hub will be the fourth global logistics node, joining Singapore, Dubai and Rotterdam.

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