KW intends to expand through acquisition, in short order

June 17, 2021

Kingston Wharves’ Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mark Williams, highlighted the financial performance for FY2020. The Group recorded revenues of $7.14 billion for FY2020, 10% below the $7.90 billion booked in FY2019, but still above FY2018’s revenue. Of this, the Group’s Terminal Operations delivered revenues of $5.0 billion, accounting for 69% of the Group’s revenues while the Logistics Services delivered revenues of $2.2 billion, accounting for 31% of the Group’s revenues. This translated in a profit of $2.28 billion (2019: $2.64 billion). For the first quarter of 2021, the Group recorded revenues of $1.85 billion, 1% below the $1.88 billion booked for the first quarter of 2020 which resulted in net profit of $560.25 million relative to the $561.94 million recorded for the corresponding period in 2020.

Mr. Williams stated that, “the Special Economic Zone has put KW in a good position to compete as a global business.”

Moreover, the CEO outlined that KW is committed to its Key Strategic Imperatives:

  1. Customers: Positive Client Experience
  2. People: World-class workforce
  3. Plant: Infrastructure readiness
  4. Process: operational excellence
  5. Profit: Diversification and expansion

Plant Infrastructure 

Regarding Plant Infrastructure, KW, a terminal operator at the Port of Kingston Jamaica, has ordered an eco-efficient Konecranes Gottwald Model 8 Mobile Harbor Crane to increase its capacity and efficiency in container handling and to serve Super-post Panamax vessels. Mr. Williams noted that, “we believe we need to prepare our business to be ready when COVID has passed. We are positive about getting the infrastructure in place.” He also stated that the cost of this infrastructure is “US$5 million.”

BERTH Redevelopment 

The CEO also noted that, “At KW, we are a terminal with 9 deep water BERTHS, we can accommodate vessels of Panamax size and Post Panamax size. Since week, we concluded the first phase of an international tender for the refurbishing of BERTHS 7. We are looking to spend US$30 million to ensure that the infrastructure at KW is ready and can compare with the best in the world. Another US$30 million will be used to get the plant infrastructure in place.”


KW has invested about US$2 million over the past 12 months to ensure the security infrastructure is compatible to the region


Technology is another imperative to drive operational excellence. KW is focused on ensuring the use of web-based facilities for clearing cargo at the port.

Technological Development

  • Web based Cargo Clearance
  • Terminal Operating System Upgrade
  • Accounting Software Upgrade
  • I.E.S.M.S.
  • E-Learning System
  • Cloud-Based Security

Web-based cargo clearance:

“New development for shipping called “Click and Collect, as easy as 1 2 3”

  1. Register Online
  2. Pay online
  3. Collect cargo

He noted that, “It can be done on the phone, and it is curbside pickup. It offers an efficient way to clear cargo. KW partner with Jamaica customs so you can pay custom charges, KW charges and agent charges using mobile phone.”

IESMS Architecture

  1. Credential System
  2. Access Control System
  3. Intrusion Detection System
  4. CCTV Surveillance System
  5. Monitoring & Control System

KW is optimistic about acquiring businesses, and has noted that in short order, the Group will be sharing via JSE about the business acquisition it has been working on to thereby expand the business and diversify revenue stream.

Expansion through diversification & acquisition:

  1. Acquisition: Strategic acquisitions in transportation and logistics
  2. Diversification: Position KWL as a hub for non-containerized and non-auto cargo types
  3. Expansion: Expand warehouse & logistics services, leveraging SEZ designation.

“We are also looking at adding an additional cargo type and are for along in discussions with international partner on that”, as per the CEO.

In conclusion, KW is prepared for the future:

  1. Super Post-Panamax Crane
  2. Terminal Expansion
  3. I.T. Development
  4. New Cargo Types
  5. SEZ Designation
  6. Competent Workforce
  7. Business Integration


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