CMA CGM Takes Over Kingston Container Terminal
The government of Jamaica has divested the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT) to Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited (KFTL), a local company formed as a subsidiary of global terminal operators CMA CGM Group.
The agreement between the Port Authority of Jamaica and KFTL calls for the development and expansion of KCT, Jamaica’s main transshipment port. The agreement also commits KFTL to a second phase of development to expand capacity and further deepen the access channel and basin.
The government granted KFTL a 30-year concession on the facility under the agreement. The concession began on July 1.
Ports works including dredging and infrastructural development started immediately, the France-based CMA CGM announced. Funding was provided by both institutional funders—Inter American Development Bank, Agence Francaise de Développement, DEG, and FMO—and private funders—CIBC First Caribbean, CIFI, and Cordiant.
When finalized the terminal will offer nearly 8,000 feet of wharf, almost 200 acres of surface, and over 50 feet of depth. The facility will be equipped with 14 gantry cranes, later increasing to 16 and finally 18, plus 60 straddle-carriers that will increase its annual capacity up to 3.6 million TEU containers.
“With the Kingston Terminal, CMA CGM strengthens its investments in hub solutions,” said Farid Salem, CMA CGM executive officer. “Our terminals are ideally placed on global maritime routes at strategic locations.”
The Kingston terminal will welcome all maritime carriers at a common user terminal. Taking into account all ports operated by APL, which CMA CGM is about to acquire, the French carrier operates 33 terminals with three in development.
The terminal extension will elevate Kingston to within the top three Caribbean container terminals, the carrier said. New equipment will facilitate transshipment operations towards the whole region thanks to connection services lines.
The widening of the Panama canal, inaugurated on June 26, 2016 allows up to 14,000 TEU-capacity vessels to cross the canal. The Kingston hub location is strategic: at the entrance of the canal and at the crossroads of north/south and east/west lines.
CMA CGM, a French company, is the third largest container shipping company in the world, following Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company. CMA CGM operates on 170 shipping routes between 400 ports in 150 different countries. Its headquarters are in Marseilles, and its North American headquarters are in Norfolk, Virginia.