Oliver Townsend, CEO and managing director of Knutsford Express Services Limited (KEX), has indicated that the company is expecting to see recovery in revenues in the medium term given the aggressive vaccination programmes underway in Jamaica and especially in North America.
Knutsford Express currently operates two travel hubs at the local international airports in Montego Bay and Kingston.
Meanwhile, the company has expanded its courier depots, adding the newest location at the New Sovereign Centre on the Boulevard (formerly Michi SuperCentre) in Kingston. The site brings to 16 the number of courier locations islandwide that the company operates, with one in St Mary and another in Lucea, Hanover, opening since the start of 2021.
“There is much more movement of goods and services. With the limitations with the COVID-19 protocol and the reduction in passengers, we felt strongly that to keep the growth going, we needed another location [for packages] and one that you could get to quickly and easily. We thought it important to open that location,” Townsend told Caribbean Business Report.
The company also added a pickup service in Kingston for people who pre-register their packages on the company’s online courier platform.
Although declining to share precise data, Townsend said package volumes have climbed nearly 200 per cent since March 2021, contributing significantly to earnings.
“There is much more movement of goods and services”— Oliver Townsend, president and CEO, Knutsford Express
At the same time, he said, passenger travel has been rising slowly after falling to zero in May 2020, reaching just 20 per cent of normal levels.
Knutsford Express Services, which offers courier, passenger and charter services, posted losses of JM$1.66 million for the nine months ended February 28, 2021. For the corresponding period last year, the company had positive earnings of JM$41.33 million.
Revenues for the company slid from JM$797.49 at nine months in February 2020 to JM$514.56 million in the period under review.
As a result of the impact of COVID-19, the company has diversified its offerings rapidly to maintain a cash-positive operation.
In 2020, the company used drawdowns of JM$200 million to purchase land and begin construction of the new Knutsford Express Super Terminal in Drax Hall, St Ann.
The new commercial centre will deliver 17 units in all for rental, with almost all the units having already become the subject of agreements and some concessionaires now setting up for the opening.
Phase 2 of the Drax Hall terminal is two-acre development that will comprise over 23,000 square feet of commercial/ logistics space, delivering 14 stores. It is slated for completion in July 2021.