BUSINESS UPBEAT IN JAMAICA:Kingston Wharves on track to double business.....So far, the cargo handler has invested US$20 million ($2.4 billion) on the expansion. KWL CEO Grantley Stephenson told the Jamaica Observer

 BY KARENA BENNETT Business reporter bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com  Sunday, November 22, 2015
KINGSTON Wharves Limited's (KWL) planned expansion of doubling its throughput to one million 20-foot container equivalent units (TEUs) per annum and establishing itself as a lead logistics provider appears to be a step closer.
Kingston Wharves on track to double business
Last Friday, the Wharves offloaded a Liebherr LHM 550 mobile crane -- the largest in operation on the island -- as part of a thrust to reposition itself in becoming the premier trans-shipment port and logistics provider.
"To expand our facility over the next five years, acquiring additional cranes is only one aspect of it," KWL CEO Grantley Stephenson told the Jamaica Observer during a tour of Kingston Wharves new habour crane by the Jamaica Producers Group Limited, the largest shareholders of the company.
"We are increasing the amount of business that we do, so we need more equipment. Investing in our infrastructure puts us in a position to attract more business to Jamaica," he added.
Management outlined that the acquisition of the harbour crane along with two container stacks -- which should be docked by the end of the year -- has totalled $600 million of the US$100 million ($11.9 billion) the company plans on spending to get to the stage of handling Post-Panamax ships.
The equipment was ordered in August 2015 and should be fully operational by the end of the week. The crane should support peak demand and berth utilisation, which runs at 500,000 TEUs, but the aim is to get to one million TEUs, while preparing for Caribbean and/or Chinese competition by the end of 2019.
So far, the cargo handler has invested US$20 million ($2.4 billion) on the expansion. Stephenson noted that the company has commenced construction of the 160,000-square-foot purpose-built warehousing and manufacturing complex, which is expected to be operational by the beginning of 2017. more

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