The container shipping operator CMA CGM makes Kingston in Jamaica its strategic transshipment hub in Central America. The Kingston Container Terminal will serve the increasing traffic from the expanded Panama Canal and the growing flow of the company’s passing vessels. The French container operator CMA CGM invested in improving the staffing and technical capabilities at the terminal in Jamaica, through its subsidiary Kingston Freeport Terminal and under a concession agreement with local government. CMA CGM contracted 30-year concession with obligations to employ more than 900 workers, build 2,400 m of docks, deepen the shipping channel and buy 14-18 new gantry cranes.
“Impressive works were conducted by the Panama Canal Authorities. A widened canal will bring new opportunities for world trade”, said CMA CGM Director of Studies, Projects and Development, Luc Portier. “CMA CGM has foreseen these changes and made Kingston a strategic base: modernisation works will allow the group to operate all larger vessels sailing in the area, and make Jamaica a transshipment hub for the whole sub region”, added he.
CMA CGM is among the Panama Canal’s busiest clients and will continue to expand flows through after increased capacity for handling larger vessels. The canal was widened and deepened, increasing capacity to accept Neo-Panamaxes. It was improved by new modern locks, built at both the Pacific and Atlantic ends.
Kingston Container Terminal is just one day’s sailing from Panama and is well located for the onward shipment of cargo to ports on the US east coast, in the Gulf of Mexico and in north and east Brazil. Establishing a hub in Panama would have lengthened the route for certain lines plying the region, while Kingston has all the advantages.