Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) indicated in its new annual report for 2020 that the company focused its attention on terminal reconfiguration and optimisation; redevelopment and rehabilitation of berthing capacity; optimisation of equipment use and equipment acquisition — all while pursuing strategies to expand and maximise the use of warehousing and logistics facilities.
KWL currently provides logistics services for companies in a multiplicity of sectors such as manufacturing, wholesale and retail, energy, the automotive industry, and telecommunications.
Both domestic and international clients respond positively to KWL’s appeal as a port-centric logistics operation, which offers “the advantage of a secured and efficient logistics operations, along with prime location on the Port of Kingston with multimodal connectivity of land, sea and air”, the report outlined.
In January 2020, the company gained and its subsidiary, Western Terminals Limited, gained ‘Developer’ status under the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Act, transitioning from a Free Zone regime. Since then KWL has leveraged its status to serve a wide clientele in a number of sectors, especially motor vehicle.
The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) designation, it says, has proven to be a stimulant of economic development.
“Our SEZ designation has facilitated the expansion of our logistics offerings and allows our clients to apply to operate within our SEZ and benefit from the applicable fiscal incentives after a successful application,” the company said in the annual report.
Additionally, six subsidiaries in the KWL Group earned ‘Occupant’ status under the Act in September 2020.
Also in 2020, KWL’s Global Auto Logistics Centre (GALC) at Tinson Pen introduced a new pilot initiative that leverages its SEZ status. The subsidiary provides a one-stop-shop for motor vehicle handling, inventory management, delivery, and customs processing.
At the same time, to facilitate business expansion, KWL began preliminary work on the construction of a dry-cold integrated warehouse complex at Ashenheim Road in Kingston. According to the annual report, the facility is being rolled out at an opportune time to meet the post-COVID-19 demand for warehousing solutions close to the market.
“Its completion will add a new dimension to Kingston Wharves’ logistics services offering and contribute to its profitability and relevance in the global supply chain.”
The company indicates additionally that it invested “significantly” in enhancing its berthing capabilities, contracting an international company to carry out major dredging of all nine berths
With the aim of facilitating the docking of larger vessels, work at the port involved removing silt deposit material to restore the berths to their original design depths.
The project received the necessary National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) approvals and was completed within the second quarter of 2020.
Additionally, KWL carried out Cathodic Protection installation to Berths 1 to 7, representing a capital investment of JM$176 million. This measure aims to protect the structural integrity of the berth face, aid in dock longevity, and allow for a better berthing experience for ships that call at the port.
KWL also rehabilitated Berth 3 to restore that docking facility to functionality, thereby bolstering mooring capacity and availability.
In 2020, nearly 1,000 vessels called at KWL’s terminal. These ships moved automotive, bulk, breakbulk, liquid bulk, and containerised cargo for the domestic, regional and international markets, as part of the global supply chain.
“Capital investments made by Kingston Wharves over the last seven years have positioned the company to take advantage of current and emerging opportunities,” the report outlined.
KWL currently has over 340,000 square feet of warehouse space.