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September 28, 2012
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Minister describes new container facility as a big leap

Isocon-JLB International's ISO-Tank Containers were lined out at the official launch of the operation at Newport East in the Jamaica International Free Zone recently. Some 20 tanks from various tank operators were on site in preparation for cleaning, testing and preparing. - contributed

The establishment of a shipping container cleaning and repair facility in Kingston by Isocon-JLB International has been described by Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton as a small step in what will be a giant leap by Jamaica to fulfill its ambitions to become the logistics hub of the Americas.

The Minister was speaking at the launch of the Isocon-JLB International Investment at the company's operation site at Newport East in the Kingston Free Zone recently. Isocon-JLB International is a JAMPRO-landed investment operated by Scottish engineering firm Isocon and the Jamaican-owned JLB International Shipping.

According to Minister Hylton, in making this investment in Jamaica, Isocon-JLB is filling a need in the global food-supply chain, and has laid a foundation for rapid business expansion. He added that the presence of this entity in Jamaica will attract ISO-Tank Container operators in the food grade markets throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America.

"They will beat a path to this facility for state-of-the-art services for equipment cleaning, repairs, testing, certification and storage, thereby reducing the cost of freight transport to reaching their markets," the minister said.

music to the ears

He added, "The start-up of Isocon-JLB here in Jamaica is music to the ears of our rum distillers and producers, who are a major part of the supply chain out of the Caribbean that supplies 85% of the rum exports to the world. Isocon-JLB will bring added operational efficiencies to our thriving rum and spirits export business, especially as it relates to quicker access to market."

This investment, the minister noted, with start-up capital expenditures in excess of J$50 million, will employ initially some 5-7 skilled Jamaicans, will bring a catalytic value-added service to Jamaica's maritime industry; save money, create jobs, and will spawn new possibilities.

Minister Hylton explained that the Isocon-JLB investment is a step in the right direction of making Jamaica the logistics hub of the Americas and will see upwards of US$7-8 billion dollars of investment in the Jamaican economy over a 5-10 year period. He explained, "This big idea of a logistics hub at the centre of the Americas serving global markets enjoys the total buy-in of the ministry, and the work now being done to prepare us to move full speed ahead with this transformative megaproject."

needed services

The cleaning facility, which is the first of its kind locally, will provide much-needed services at a global standard for food grade International Standards Organisation (ISO) containers.

From conceptualisation to operation, the Isocon/JLB project has taken approximately 18 months. The company will be recruiting its staff through the Human Employment and Resource Training/National Training Agency; successful job applicants will be given additional training at Isocon headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland.

JLB International is an international shipping and forwarding agency with offices in Jamaica, Trinidad and the United Kingdom. Isocon Engineering is recognised as a world leader in setting and maintaining professional standards within the ISO container and Scotch whisky industry.

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