CMI Head Outlines Benefits of Logistics Hub
Executive Director, Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI), Dr. Fritz Pinnock, says the Logistics Hub programme will have numerous benefits for Jamaicans, especially in providing jobs for the unemployed and vulnerable youth.
It is a government-backed programme to establish Jamaica as the premier logistics node within the Americas, to capitalise on the trade and business opportunities that will emanate from the expansion of the Panama Canal.
In an interview with JIS News at the Rotary Club of Spanish Town meeting, held at the Police Officers’ Club on Hope Road in St. Andrew on September 19, Dr. Pinnock said the greatest benefit to Jamaica “is that you get people to work”.
“The logistics is here. It’s not something that is coming. It’s already here. Already, we have an international port. People are doing business. We’re adding value. We’re shipping out things all over the place, so we’re doing logistics. The only thing is that we want to expand this in a way that we can create greater value for Jamaica,” he explained.
Dr. Pinnock emphasised that Jamaicans need to start thinking of products that can be created and exported when the global logistics hub is fully established.
“The first thing is about sustainable growth. For example, we’re now talking about the bauxite. Before, we used to just extract the earth and export it. Now, the whole notion on the table is how to develop a sector that we can process the aluminium here,” he said
“We can make products here. This is what you talk about [for] sustainable development, because you can now extract the earth, you can now produce the aluminium here, you can now make the products, and that is improving the value chain,” Dr. Pinnock added.
Dr. Pinnock pointed out that logistics is about how you can add value to the chain, adding that it will create a multiplier effect for the nation.
“If you were to start a small factory to add value, you’re going to need security guards; the foreigners who are coming will need school for their children, they’re going to need drivers, they are going to need more networks, shops and entertainment. It’s about creating that multiplier effect. This is what the logistics is about. How to spread the dollar,” he said.
Jamaica’s logistics hub will be the fourth global logistics node, joining Singapore, Dubai and Rotterdam.
It will involve the creation of state-of-the-art logistics zones, upgrading and further development of airport and seaport infrastructure and the creation of an enabling environment, which will allow businesses to fully exploit Jamaica’s strategic location.
Jamaica sits at the intersection of several maritime and aviation routes to the Americas, Europe and Western Africa. As such, businesses located in Jamaica can readily access large commercial markets in North, Central and South America (totalling more than 800 million people). Jamaica’s logistics hub will provide businesses with prime opportunities for swift delivery to final consumers, with substantial cost savings.
With strategic investment and global partnerships, the Jamaica logistics hub will include:
• maritime and air cargo logistics hubs;
• strategic storage, handling and processing points for bulk commodities;
• expansive special economic zones facilitating assembly, warehousing, sorting, distribution and other value-added services, particularly for industries catering to time-sensitive and high-value cargo;
• aviation-related maintenance repair and overhaul, ship repair and dry-docking;
• a robust digital network to support efficient global value chain tracking and tracing as well as e-commerce operations.