Jamaica’s strategic geographic location along the main shipping lanes that utilize the Panama Canal, combined with its proximity to North American markets, provide an opportunity to position the country as a globally competitive logistics hub. In order to enhance economic growth, the government of Jamaica (GoJ) is developing a Logistics Hub Initiative (LHI), a strategy for private sector-led growth, under which Jamaica will capitalize on its potential to become a regional and global transshipment and logistics hub.

This initiative involves the development or expansion of infrastructure assets, including ports, airports, industrial zones, utilities, and ground transportation sectors. It also includes development of several special economic zones (SEZs), as a focus for private investment in the logistics industry and other value-added economic sectors in Jamaica.

Nathan Associates was engaged by the Planning Institution of Jamaica (PIOJ) to provide a market analysis and master plan for the LHI.

This initiative included plans to further develop national infrastructure assets, such as ports, airports, roads, utilities, and special economic zones, and attract private sector investment in logistics and transportation. The market analysis reviewed current investment trends, analyzed the demand and potential for Jamaica to perform as a global logistics hub, identified the current and potential industries to develop, and prioritized investments that would make Jamaica more marketable as a global hub. The master plan incorporated the data and analysis from the market study to create land use plans, development plans, and a value proposition for specific projects.
For the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Nathan undertook the following tasks:

  •  Forecasted maritime and air cargo flows for Jamaica, including assessment of transport nodes, logistics, and customs, and identified market demand for logistics services as a result of the Panama Canal expansion;
  • Benchmarked Jamaica’s transshipment and logistics competitiveness from potential regional alternatives and evaluated recent trends in international trade and foreign direct investment;
  •  Conducted a comprehensive survey of users’ and investors’ perceptions towards physical characteristics, costs, and service level of logistics and transshipment-related activities in Jamaica. The ultimate goal of the survey was to identify the specific strengths and weaknesses faced by the LHI that are most relevant to investors and shippers;
  •  Identified industries, sectors and activities with most potential for the Jamaica Logistics Hub and made recommendations for potential sites;
  • Conducted GIS analysis to address Jamaica’s conflicting land use needs, such as industry, commerce, utilities and infrastructure, housing, parks, wetlands, forest reserves, recreation, culture, entertainment, transport, security, and community facilities;
  • Provided a developmental roadmap and action plan for GOJ ministries, departments, and agencies, so that all were aligned with a single vision and direction to market and develop the JLHI;
  • Prepared a land use master plan identifying key projects for the hub, providing site layouts and selection plans;
  • Made recommendations on the development of hard and soft infrastructure to support the LHI, including upgrades to utilities, road networks, commercial facilities, residential development, and institutions such as schools, hospitals, recreational facilities, etc.
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