As is customary, Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) will extend opening hours to facilitate cargo delivery during the Christmas season. The festive period is considered one of the Peak Seasons in the shipping industry, when cargo volumes usually increase significantly, sometimes by as much as four times the volumes over non-peak periods. This major rise in cargo volumes can come with longer than usual wait times, primarily due to the sheer number of persons visiting the port to pick up their cargo.
Beginning November 11 through to December 21, Kingston Wharves will extend opening hours for the receival and delivery (R&D) of full container loads. Opening hours will extend by two hours, running from 8:00am to 6:00pm daily for containers, motor vehicles and other cargo types delivered from the main port terminal and the Global Auto Logistic Centre (GALC) at Tinson Pen.
KWL has also instituted its annual Saturday opening hours. KWL Warehouses will open to the public on Saturday, December 14 and 21; the warehouses will be open from 8:00am to 4:00pm. This includes KWL facilities located at the Total Logistics Facility, 195 Second Street as well as Kingport Warehouse Complex (KWC) at 45 – 57 Second Street, Newport West.
On Saturday, December 14, the GALC will be open to deliver motor vehicles. Appointments for Saturday delivery at the GALC, are to be made as customary via the KWL website by 5pm on the day prior.
Players in the Cargo Clearance Process
The cargo clearance process is a multi-layered one involving a number of agencies which must work in tandem to ensure the process flows smoothly.
On the Port of Kingston, the players involved in cargo delivery and clearance include freight-forwarders who manage the shipment of the cargo and provide documentation for their customers to facilitate the cargo clearance process; port terminal and warehouse operators such as Kingston Wharves that receives, stores and facilitates physical delivery of the cargo, and the Port Authority of Jamaica that facilitates the scanning of containers and its contents on arrival and prior to the unloading of the barrels and other shipments for individual cargo owners. A key player, Jamaica Customs examines individual cargo in the presence of the customers when they arrive to clear, in order to collect revenue in the form of duty charges on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, authorises the cargo release and safeguards against contraband shipment.
Kingston Wharves established its Total Logistics Facility as a one-stop-shop for cargo clearance, combining its administration, a customer service hall, commercial centre and warehousing. The TLF also houses Jamaica Customs offices, provides facilities for scanning by the Port Authority of Jamaica and provides rental spaces for freight-forwarding companies. A 200 car-capacity parking lot is among the amenities for customers and others who use the facility.