Until 2015 the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) owned one of the terminals, which was known as the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT), and was operated by subsidiary of the PAJ, Kingston Container Terminal Services Ltd. In 2015, the government of Jamaica divested the KCT to Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited (KFTL), a local company formed as a subsidiary of global terminal operators CMA CGM Group. The government granted KFTL a 30-year concession on the facility under the agreement. That concession officially began on July 1, 2016. The agreement calls for the development and expansion of KCT. The agreement also commits KFTL to a second phase of development to expand capacity and further deepen the access channel and basin.
Ports works including dredging and infrastructural development started immediately. 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.
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.
KFTL is one of the region’s leading container transshipment ports and consists of three terminals—the North, South and West Terminals with a rated capacity of 2.8 Million TEUs. The equipment includes:
The berth face, channel and turning basin have been dredged to a depth of 13 metres.
The North Terminal
The South Terminal (Gordon Cay)
The West Terminal