The Port Authority of Jamaica develops and regulates the facilities and services at the Port of Kingston (tourism website). They strive to become the western hemisphere's "beacon of maritime excellence." The Port Authority was created by law in 1972. It is the maritime agency responsible for the port and shipping industry.
In the 2008-2009 shipping season, the Port of Kingston received 2470 vessel calls and handled a total of almost 16.3 million metric tons of cargo. Fees produced by the Kingston Container Terminal are the main source of income for the port authority. In the 2008-2009 shipping season, the Port of Kingston Container Terminal generated a net income of $8.5 billion.
The Port of Kingston's main terminal is the Kingston Container Terminal. Recent expansion projects have resulted in a capacity to handle 3.2 million TEUs of containerized cargo per year. In the 2008-2009 shipping season, the Port of Kingston Container Terminal handled nearly 1.7 million TEUs. Of this total, about 1.4 million TEUs (86%) were transshipments. Domestic containerized cargo represented 12% of the total 1.7 million.
In early 2009, Kingston Container Terminal Services Limited (KCTS) assumed management of the Port of Kingston Container Terminal when the contract ended with APM Terminals Jamaica.
The Port Authority of Jamaica is planning further expansions of the Port of Kingston Container Terminal that will bring its total capacity to 5.2 million TEUs. This expansion corresponds with the expansion of the Panama Canal.
To make the Port of Kingston a more productive multi-modal logistics and distribution hub, the Port Authority of Jamaica plans to increase logistics services. The goals for Port of Kingston's Logistics and Distribution Hub facilities include making facilities available for the breakdown and repackaging of cargo, the light manufacturing and assembly of goods, and marketing for a wide range of goods.
The Port of Kingston is a leading container transshipment port in the Caribbean region. It contains three terminals: The North, South, and West Terminals. The berth, channel, and turning basin are dredged to 13 meters (42.7 feet).
The Port of Kingston Container Terminal is equipped with 19 ship-to-shore gantry cranes, including four super-post-Panamax cranes. The Port of Kingston also has 30 stevedoring chassis, 28 yard tractors, 30 yard trailers, 14 empty stackers, 73 straddle carriers, 24 trailer trains, four train tractors, and nine forklifts. Three mobile cranes are available for hire at the Port of Kingston Container Terminal, and two tugboats serve the terminal. The Port of Kingston Container Terminal has 744 reefer outlets for refrigerated containers.
The North Terminal in the Port of Kingston Container Terminal offers berthing distance of 535 meters (over 1.7 thousand feet) and contains 47 hectares of container-stacking yard space. The North Terminal in the Port of Kingston is equipped with four super-post-Panamax ship-to-shore gantry cranes.
The Port of Kingston's South Terminal has berthing distance of 1.3 kilometers (more than 4.2 thousand feet). The South Terminal in the Port of Kingston has 82 hectares of storage space for containers, 25 of which are unpaved. The South Terminal in the Port of Kingston Container Terminal is equipped with five post-Panamax gantry cranes and six super-post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes.
The Port of Kingston Container Terminal's West Terminal offers berthing distance of 475 meters (almost 1.6 thousand feet), and it has 65 hectares of container yard. The West Terminal is equipped with four super-post-Panamax ship-to-shore gantry cranes.
The Port of Kingston is developing and upgrading Port of Kingston infrastructure and equipment to take advantage of the port's strategic position in the Caribbean region. During the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 shipping periods, the Port Authority of Jamaica will dredge the Port of Kingston basin and ship channel so that it can accommodate the largest cargo-shipping vessels that will use the expanded Panama Canal.
When the work is finished, the Port of Kingston canal will be able to handle vessels carrying 12 thousand TEUs that are up to 366 meters (1.2 thousand feet) long with a draft up to 15.2 meters (49.9 feet). The current expansion effort will also include paving and expanding the container stacking area to 28.8 hectares and adding more reefer plugs at the Port of Kingston's West Berth.
The current upgrading activities will also include refurbishing equipment and infrastructure in the Port of Kingston, acquiring a more powerful tugboat, and reclaiming land for a port expansion at Fort Augusta that includes construction of a terminal there that will bring total container capacity at the Port of Kingston to 5.2 million TEUs.
With targeted capacity for two million TEUs, the new Fort Augusta facility at the Port of Kingston will be dredged to 18 meters (59.1 feet). It will add 2.5 kilometers (1.6 mile) of berthing space to the Port of Kingston that can accommodate vessels carrying up to 12.5 thousand TEUs. The Fort Augusta facility will add 70 hectares of yard space to the Port of Kingston. The Fort Augusta facility at the Port of Kingston will also have new gantry cranes.