Jamaica’s transshipment activities are located in the seventh largest natural harbor in the world and Jamaica is also the second largest transshipment hub in the Caribbean region. Jamaican ports handle cargo destined to and from North, Central and South America, Europe and Asia, receiving a level of shipping traffic much higher than that reflected by its trade alone, (over ninety per cent (90%) of Jamaica’s exports and imports is transported by ship). In 2015, approximately 3,397 vessel calls were recorded at Jamaican ports, carrying in excess of twenty-two (22) million tonnes of cargo. The Government recently awarded a thirty-year concession to a consortium, led by CMA CGM, to operate a transshipment terminal. This confirms the strategic and essential role which port activities play for Jamaica in terms of employment and foreign exchange earnings. These activities also support other States in the region whose trade and well-being are supported through the network of feeder services operating from Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited located in the Kingston Harbour.
Jamaica is a preferred destination for cruise shipping and continues to be a global leader in the sector, evidenced by its receipt of the “World’s Leading Cruise Destination” award for six (6) consecutive years. The historic Port of Falmouth was purpose built to accommodate the Genesis class ships. The destination continues to experience major growth, with over 10% increase in passenger arrivals in the past year.
Jamaica has a highly developed maritime infrastructure, which comprises container, cruise and bulk cargo ports, maritime administration and ship registration, as well as the training of seafarers and shipping personnel. The country has evidenced a vested interest in port, flag and coastal State Standards and has been actively supporting the work of the IMP in these areas.