Jamaica Urged To Learn From Other Logistics Hub Projects

Jamaica is being urged to explore other logistics hubs around the world and learn from their strengths and weaknesses, in order to develop its own successful programme.

“There’s a lot of competition out there. There is huge investment in transportation facilities around the world… you have to kind of look at what their strengths are, and rebuild… based on what they don’t have,” said Director for Policy and Co-ordination, Canada’s Atlantic Gateway Secretariat, Marianne Etter.

She was addressing the closing session of the two-day Jamaica logistics hub symposium, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on January 22.

During her presentation, which focussed on ‘the Canada Atlantic Gateway and Trade Corridor Strategy’ Ms. Etter outlined a number of measures that are critical to ensuring the success of a hub project and facilitating growth.

Among these are reducing government bureaucracy, securing commitments from international shipping lines, and ensuring that there is constant communication with the various interests.

“You have to keep meeting with your stakeholders and talking to your partners, and it means ongoing meetings and discussions, whether it’s one-on-one or a group effort. You just possibly can’t do enough of it, because… it makes it…easier to accomplish what you want to do,” she said.

She pointed out that “tremendous changes” in the global transportation landscape over the years have made it difficult for governments to do long-term predictive analysis on what the transportation sector will be like in 10 to 20 years, and so flexibility and adaptability are also important.

“You really have to stay on top of where you think things are going, and a lot of it, like other industries, is about relationships. It’s about building relationships with the shipping lines and terminal operators and your customers and everybody…having those relationships and those clear value propositions and understanding what your advantages are and being able to articulate those and build awareness around those is critical,” she stated.

The Canada Atlantic Gateway is one of three gateways in Canada and can be described as an integrated network of transportation system assets.

The symposium, organised by the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and JAMPRO attracted key players in the private sector, experts in logistics, investors, government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, as well as a wide cross-section of other critical stakeholders.

Published Date: 
Thursday, January 23, 2014