Jamaica, why a logistics hub?
By: Ainsley Brown
So why a logistics hub?
Jamaica, like all countries around the world, is seek growth, jobs and prosperity for its people. The logistics hub is one strategy – a major one that – in achieving these outcomes.
There are two quotes I would like to share that sum up importance of a Hub to Jamaica better than I ever could. The first:
“Improving logistics performance is at the core of the economic growth and competitiveness agenda. Policymakers globally recognize the logistics sector as one of their key pillars for development. Trade powerhouses in Europe like the Netherlands or in developing counties like Vietnam and Indonesia see seamless sustainable logistics as an engine of growth and of integration with global value chains.”
Logistics Performance Index 2014
According to the World Bank (Trade Dimensions of Logistics services: A Proposal for Trade Agreements): “Logistics services has become critical for competitiveness. Better logistics performance is strongly associated with trade expansion, export diversification, ability to attract foreign direct investment and economic growth.”
The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) has embarked on a strategic initiative to transform Jamaica into a global logistics hub. The Jamaica Global Logistics Hub Initiative is a development model and growth strategy designed to pivot the Jamaican economy to a logistics centered one. The ultimate goal of the Initiative is to further integrate Jamaica into the global supply and value chain. The Logistics Hub Initiative is intended to serve as a catalyst for the development of a logistics-centered economy, which encompasses the broader initiatives supporting the business reform agenda, as well as policies aimed at unlocking investments in the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) sector.
What Jamaica represents is a centralized location in the Americas where logistics and related activities can all be clustered on one island. Jamaica will become a platform for the use of digital technology to plan the design, production, packaging and distribution of goods; financial services; a strategic depot for the storage of natural resources, ship and airplane repair, legal services, tourism and so on.
It will force Jamaican policy makers and businesses to look at the whole supply and value chain – from conceptualization of ideas to research & development, to design, to production, all the way through to consumption and with greater emphasis being placed on being green/sustainable, now all the way to recycling – to see where along this line of activities we can participate and add value. It means country that is and has stakeholders that are constantly and consistently examining and re-examining the way we do things to see how we can do them better and more efficiently. It would be more accurate to say that in fact what we are talking about is a value added, production, logistics, warehousing, and distribution network but that is a bit of a mouthful and isn’t as sexy as logistics hub. Therefore we will stick with logistics hub.