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News

Years: 2014 | 2015

HAITI’S PORT LAFITO OFFICIALLY OPENS

Read in French

Haiti’s first Panamax Port Positioned to Benefit National Economy

MIAMI, July 2, 2015 – GB Group, a diversified group of industrial and trading companies, today announced with an inauguration event that Port Lafito, a world-class modern container port in Haiti, is open and operational.

Port Lafito is Haiti’s first Panamax Port with state of the art equipment and technology. The multi-million dollar project, led by GB Group, is a private, public and international partnership between the Haitian government, the Haitian private sector and international financial institutions including the Haitian State Bank, Banque Nationale de Credit S.A., Capital Bank, Fonds de Développement Industriel (“FDI”), the International Finance Corporation (“IFC”), Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (“FMO”) the Dutch Development Bank, and Nationale d’Assurance S.A. (NASSA).

“Port Lafito will breathe new life into Haiti by creating new jobs, training for skilled labor, and encouraging foreign investment and development. This project will make a significant impact on the national economy and have a beneficial impact on the more than 10 million people that live here,” said Reuven Bigio, CEO of GB Group. “We are proud to announce that the day has come where we can help bring Haiti to the forefront of modern logistics. None of this would have been possible without the support from our public and private partners, for which we are very grateful.”

The inauguration event hosted Haitian dignitaries, government officials and partners that made the critical infrastructure project possible. Remarks were made by Haitian President, Michel Martelly; Chairman of GB Group, Gilbert Bigio; GB Group CEO, Reuven Bigio; SSA Marine Senior Vice President, Carlos Urriola; and General Director of l’Autorité Portuaire Nationale d’Haïti (APN), Alix Celestin.

In addition, an International Sister Seaport agreement was signed between Port Lafito and.port-logo in order to collaborate on the exchange of information and ideas, with the aim to increase cargo and trade between ports.

Port Lafito partnered with SSA Marine, the world’s largest independent and privately-held marine terminal operator, to oversee the port and terminal operations. In addition, Port Lafito installed two Liebherr LHM 420 mobile harbour cranes that are the first of their kind in the Caribbean and finalized agreements with Evergreen Marine and King Ocean Services to include Lafito as a port of call.

The opening of Port Lafito is one step toward the larger development of Lafito Global, an economic zone which will include the international port & terminal, an industrial free zone, a business park and residential area among more. The development of Lafito Global will drive the creation of more than 25,000 new jobs in Haiti by 2020, foster a new vibrant economic social center, establish attractive regional logistics and become an industrial hub for the Caribbean. For more information on Port Lafito, please visit www.portlafito.com.

Operating Partners

Autorite Portuaire Nationale. Port Lafito operating partner. Tideworks. Port Lafito operating partner SSA Marine. Port Lafito operating partner

Founding Partners

The Haitian Government. A Port Lafito funding partner FDI. A Port Lafito funding partner Banque Nationale de Credit. A Port Lafito funding partner IFC. A Port Lafito funding partner FMO. A Port Lafito funding partner Nassa. A Port Lafito funding partner Capital Bank. A Port Lafito funding partner

About GB Group


GB Group is a leading, diversified group of industrial and trading companies in the Caribbean, with operations concentrated in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and St. Maarten and offices in the United States. Comprised of 22 companies from 9 different divisions including agriculture, construction, consumer goods, energy, finance, infrastructure, logistics, media and trading, GB Group collaborates with more than 4,000 employees and embraces managers from more than 15 countries companywide. GB Group and its operating companies have strategic alliances and/or partnerships with some the world’s top business organizations. The company’s current endeavors include the $200 million Lafito Global project, which includes Port Lafito, Haiti’s first Panamax port.

More information is available at www.gbgroup.com.

Photo credits: Tatiana Mora Liautaud & Georges Harry Rouzier.

 

French version

Port Lafito ouvre officiellement ses portes en Haïti
Premier port Panamax d’Haïti qui favorisera la relance de l’économie nationale

MIAMI, le 2 juillet 2015 – Le GB Group, un groupe multisectoriel d’entreprises industrielles et commerciales, a annoncé aujourd’hui, au cours d’une cérémonie inaugurale, que Port Lafito — un port de conteneurs modernes d’envergure internationale — est ouvert et opérationnel.

Port Lafito est le premier Port Panamax d’Haïti utilisant des équipements et des technologies de pointe. Le projet de plusieurs millions de dollars dirigé par le GB Group est un partenariat privé, public et international entre le gouvernement, le secteur privé et les institutions financières internationales, y compris la Banque commerciale d’État — Banque Nationale de Crédit SA, la Capital Bank, Les Fonds de Développement Industriel (FDI), la Société Financière Internationale (SFI), la Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden NV (FMO) — Banque de développement Néerlandaise, et la Nationale d’Assurance SA (NASSA).

« Port Lafito va apporter un nouveau souffle à l’économie haïtienne en créant des emplois, en formant de la main-d’œuvre qualifiée, en encourageant des investissements étrangers et en favorisant le développement. Ce projet aura un impact majeur sur l’économie nationale et un effet bénéfique sur les plus de 10 millions de personnes vivant ici », a déclaré Reuven Bigio, PDG du GB Group. « Nous sommes fiers d’annoncer que le jour est venu où nous pouvons aider à mettre Haïti à l’avant-garde de la logistique moderne. Tout ceci n’aurait été possible sans le soutien de nos partenaires publics et privés, ce dont nous leur sommes très reconnaissants. »

À la cérémonie inaugurale ont assistés des dignitaires haïtiens, des responsables gouvernementaux et des partenaires qui ont rendu possible ce projet crucial d’infrastructure. Des allocutions ont été tenues par : le président de la République, Michel Martelly ; le président du GB Group, Gilbert Bigio ; le PDG du GB Group, Reuven Bigio ; le vice-président de SSA Marine, Carlos Urriola ; et le directeur général de l’Autorité portuaire nationale (APN) d’Haïti, Alix Célestin.

Un accord international de ports maritimes sœurs a été signé entre Port Lafito et PortMiami afin de collaborer sur l’échange d’informations et d’idées, dans le but d’augmenter le fret et le commerce entre les ports.

Port Lafito est entré en partenariat avec SSA Marine, le plus grand opérateur privé indépendant de gare maritime au monde, afin de superviser l’exploitation du port et de la gare maritime.

De plus, Port Lafito a installé deux grues portuaires mobiles Liebherr LHM 420, qui sont les premières de leur genre dans la Caraïbe. Des accords ont été finalisés avec Evergreen Marine et King Ocean Services pour inclure Lafito comme port d’escale.

L’ouverture de Port Lafito est un pas de plus vers le développement de Lafito Global, une zone économique qui comprendra entre autre : le port international et la gare maritime, une zone franche industrielle, un parc industriel et une zone résidentielle. Le développement de Lafito Global engendrera la création de plus de 25.000 emplois en Haïti d’ici 2020; favorisera une zone socio-économique dynamique; établira une logistique régionale attrayante; et deviendra un centre industriel pour la Caraïbe. Pour plus d’informations sur Port Lafito, veuillez visiter www.portlafito.com.

À propos du GB Group


Le GB Group, un groupe multisectoriel d’entreprises industrielles et commerciales, est un leader dans la Caraïbe, avec des activités centrées en Haïti, en République Dominicaine, à la Jamaïque et à St Maarten, ainsi que des bureaux aux États-Unis. Composé de 21 entreprises couvrant sept secteurs différents, incluant l’agriculture, la construction, les biens de consommation, les infrastructures, l’énergie, la logistique et le commerce, le groupe a plus de 4000 employés et inclus des gestionnaires de plus de 15 pays. Le GB Group et ses sociétés d’exploitation ont des alliances stratégiques et/ou des partenariats avec certaines des meilleures entreprises au monde. Les réalisations actuelles de l’entreprise comprennent le projet Lafito Global de 200.000.000 $, incluant le Port Lafito, premier port Panamax d’Haïti. Plus d’informations sont disponibles à www.gbgroup.com.

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News

Years: 2014 | 2015

State-of-the-Art Mobile Harbor Cranes Fully Operational at Port Lafito

Liebherr LHM 420 Mobile Harbor Cranes Call Port Lafito Home

MIAMI, June 24, 2015 – GB Group, today announced that Port Lafito, a world-class modern container port, welcomed the arrival of two new Liebherr LHM 420 mobile harbor cranes that are now fully operational. The cranes are the key equipment to achieve the highest efficiency and are the first of their kind in the Caribbean.

The Liebherr cranes were selected by Port Lafito due to their great efficiency, being able to make more than 30 moves per hour. In addition, the cranes are powered by diesel fuel and are equipped with remote wireless monitoring of systems status, key statistics and alerts which will allow port operators to keep each crane functioning at its highest capacity. The cranes boast an array of industry-leading characteristics:

Hoisting Heights

Above quay at minimum radius of 44 m
Above quay at maximum radius of 29 m
Below quay level at an approximate radius of 14 m
Working Speeds

Hoisting/lowering equal to 0-120 m/min.
Slewing equal to 0-1.6 rmp.
Luffing equal to 0-85 m/min
Traveling equal to 0-5 km/h.

In addition to the cranes’ impressive specifications, Liebherr has established a comprehensive training program with virtual simulators in Miami, Fla., which equips crane operators with the necessary skillset to operate each crane effectively and safely.

“There was no compromise made when selecting the cranes we would use to develop this critical infrastructure project,” said Reuven Bigio, CEO of GB Group. “In our effort to bring Haiti to the forefront of modern logistics, we want nothing but the best and most efficient equipment for Port Lafito.”

“Liebherr Maritime Cranes is proud to be a part of the new Port Lafito. We support this innovative project and know that these two cranes reinforce the high demand for this particular model type for Caribbean and Central American cargo,” said Markus Wittwer, area manager for Liebherr Maritime Cranes, Americas.

 

About GB Group
GB Group is a leading, diversified group of industrial and trading companies in the Caribbean, with operations concentrated in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and St. Maarten and offices in the United States. Comprised of 22 companies from 9 different divisions including agriculture, construction, consumer goods, energy, finance, infrastructure, logistics, media and trading, GB Group collaborates with more than 4,000 employees and embraces managers from more than 15 countries companywide. GB Group and its operating companies have strategic alliances and/or partnerships with some the world’s top business organizations. The company’s current endeavors include the $80 million Port Lafito project, which is Haiti’s first Panamax port.

More information is available at www.gbgroup.com

News

Years: 2014 | 2015

Haiti aims for Caribbean hub status

Port Strategy on PORT LAFITO in HAITI

27 May 2015

“Haiti’s first Panamax Port, Port Lafito, has taken another step towards Caribbean hub status with the announcement that Evergreen Marine and King Ocean Services will be using the port as a future port of call.

Pierre Liautaud, GB Group Executive Vice President of Infrastructure, told Port Strategy that Haiti is at present the second largest market for Evergreen.

“The efficiency that Evergreen gains by calling Port Lafito offers the possibility to incorporate Haiti to its service to Dominican Republic, which is the largest market for them in the Caribbean,” he said.

“We believe that Port Lafito is geographically well situated to be a Caribbean hub and are actively soliciting lines to engage the second phase of the port to provide transshipment services.”

The multi-million dollar Lafito port project is a private, public and international partnership between Haitian and foreign private sectors and includes investments from the GB Group, Haitian State Bank, Capital Bank, FDI the International Finance Corporation, FMO-the Dutch Development Bank and Nationale D’assurance S.A (NASSA).

Lafito’s US$80m port is the first project of its kind and is expected to drive the creation of more than 25,000 new jobs by 2018, as well as foster a new vibrant economic social centre and establish attractive regional logistics to the island.

Port Lafito started its operations one year ago at the dry terminal to service Evergreen who started a feeder calling at Port-au-Prince. Port Lafito will receive new mobile harbour cranes in the coming weeks and will be looking to continue building its services and operations.”1

__________________________________________

“Haiti Aims for Caribbean Hub Status.” Port Strategy. Mercator Media, 27 May 2015. Web. 29 May 2015. <http://www.portstrategy.com/news101/world/south-america/haiti-aiming-for-caribbean-hub-status>.

News

Years: 2014 | 2015

GB Group hires SSA Marine to manage operations at Port Lafito

portlafito-ssamarine-logos

 

 

World’s Largest Terminal Operator Will Run Haiti’s First Panamax Port

MIAMI, March 26, 2015 – GB Group, a diversified collection of industrial and trading companies, today announced that it has hired SSA Marine to oversee the port and terminal operations at Port Lafito, a world class modern container port currently under construction in Haiti. SSA Marine is the world’s largest independent, privately-held marine terminal operator.

“Port Lafito marks our first operation in Haiti, opening our business to a whole new market and maintaining our success of operating cargo terminals in different parts of the world,” said Carlos Urriola, senior vice president with SSA Marine. “We are eager to not only grow our company’s reach, but also to bring economic expansion to Haiti by attracting more business imports.”

Port Lafito will be Haiti’s first Panamax Port and will bring the country to the forefront of modern logistics with state of the art equipment and technology. The $80 million port is a private, public and international partnership between Haitian and foreign private sectors and includes investments from the Haitian State bank, the International Finance Corporation and FMO- the Dutch Development Bank. Operations at the port are scheduled to begin April of 2015.

Port Lafito is the centerpiece of the Lafito global economic zone, which will include a brand new state of the art referral hospital, an industrial free zone, a power plant a business park and residential area among more. This will drive the creation of more than 25,000 new jobs in Haiti by 2018, foster a new vibrant economic social center, establish attractive regional logistics and become an industrial hub for the Caribbean.

Haiti is strategically located to serve international companies looking to supply the U.S. markets by taking advantage of the commercial and fiscal benefits that the bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Haiti (Hope/Help Act) provides.

“This visionary project that we began in 2010 is an opportunity for Haiti to progress both economically and socially and will serve as the standard for others who will see the opportunities that exist in this beautiful country,” said Reuven Bigio, CEO of GB Group. “Having an operator of the caliber of SSA Marine further validates the potential of Port Lafito.”

A project of this magnitude is the first of its kind in Haiti and was made possible by the change in policy of the Martelly Government. It is a powerful concept, providing modern and efficient logistics and manufacturing space with residential and leisure areas to solve the needs of both the local and international investors. Port Lafito and Lafito Global will impact the more than 10 million in Haiti while generating more skilled labor in Haiti. Port Lafito has already invested hundreds of hours into training local workers in welding, construction, equipment operation, among others.

With more than 100 years of experience contributing to Haiti’s economic outlook and landscape through its numerous business ventures, GB Group is well positioned to lead this development effort which is expected to have a significant economic impact on the country, by adding skilled jobs and creating much needed wealth for the population as a whole.

About GB Group
GB Group is a leading, diversified group of industrial and trading companies in the Caribbean, with operations concentrated in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and St. Maarten and offices in the United States. Comprised of 21 companies from seven different divisions including agriculture, construction, consumer goods, infrastructure, energy, logistics and trading, GB Group collaborates with more than 4,000 employees and embraces managers from more than 15 countries companywide. GB Group and its operating companies have strategic alliances and/or partnerships with some the world’s top business organizations. The company’s current endeavors include the $80 million Port Lafito project, which is Haiti’s first Panamax port.

More information is available at:
www.gbgroup.com
www.portlafito.com

News

Years: 2014 | 2015

GB Group to Implement Tideworks Technology for Greenfield Terminal in Haiti

We’re happy to report that news of Port Lafito’s terminal operating system selection hit the press on Tideworks Technology®’s website on July 22nd of last year. Read the full article here:

GB Group to Implement Tideworks Technology for Greenfield Terminal in Haiti
Tideworks’ New Infrastructure Project at Port Lafito to Leverage Benefits of Modern Terminal Operating System
Seattle, WA — Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tideworks Technology®, Inc., a full-service provider of comprehensive terminal management and planning software solutions, today announced that GB Group has selected to implement Tideworks terminal operating system (TOS) solutions for its greenfield container terminal, Port Lafito, S.A., in Haiti.

Located just 19 kilometers north of the Port-au-Prince industrial zone and international airport, Port Lafito’s primary objective is to deliver a modern port and terminal operations to efficiently serve the needs of both Haitian and international markets. Port Lafito forms part of an integrated economic zone project being developed by GB Group on 300 hectares of privately owned land. The project lies at the crossroads of two major highways, which lead directly to the country’s agricultural heartland, and aligns with the government’s goals of decentralization and promotion of infrastructure development outside the congested city of Port-au-Prince.

“We are very excited about this project, which will have significant economic impact on Haiti and the region,” states Pierre Liautaud, project manager for Port Lafito. “We knew we would need a comprehensive TOS solution to help us manage what will be Haiti’s first modern container terminal, and we couldn’t be happier with our selection of Tideworks. Its solutions fully map to our envisioned operations and will provide us with the tools we need to be productive and efficient. We look forward to working with their team.”

The project will include the deployment of Tideworks’ Mainsail Vanguard® core TOS, Forecast® web portal, Spinnaker Planning Management System®, and its Traffic Control™ equipment dispatch system:

GB Group, Port Lafito & Tideworks

Tideworks will furnish all associated implementation services, including project management, software configuration and installation, user training and go-live assistance. Post go-live, Tideworks will deliver its platinum software maintenance and support services, which include 24/7 technical support and all software upgrades. Tideworks will also provide Port Lafito on-going, remote support of the IT infrastructure under an information technology services agreement.

“The importance of this port project for a nation still recovering from the devastating effects of the 2010 earthquake cannot be overstated,” says Michael Schwank, president of Tideworks Technology. “We are pleased to play a part in helping Port Lafito become an efficient, modern cargo handling facility and thrilled to be working with the great folks at GB Group.”

In addition to the port terminal, the group operates an off-dock container yard, which will also be managed by the Tideworks TOS solution. Project implementation is scheduled for completion in Q1 2015, when Port Lafito expects to commence terminal operations.

About GB Group

The GB Group is one of the leading private industrial groups in the Caribbean and the first multinational originating from Haiti. Its operations span to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Saint Maarten, Panama and the Unites States. The GB Group collaborates with over 4,000 employees and is comprised of numerous affiliates operating in industries such as agriculture, construction, consumer goods, energy, infrastructure, trading & logistics. For more information about GB Group, visit www.gbgroup.com.

About Tideworks Technology
Tideworks is a full-service provider of cost-effective, reliable software solutions for growing terminal operations and shipping lines worldwide. The company helps more than 65,000 users at 100 facilities run their operations more efficiently and profitably. From optimized equipment utilization to faster turn times, Tideworks works at every step of terminal operations to maximize productivity and customer service. For more information about Tideworks Technology, visit www.tideworks.com/.”

Source: “GB Group to Implement Tideworks Technology for Greenfield Terminal in Haiti.” Tideworks Technology · Terminal Operations Management and Planning Solutions. Tideworks Technology, 22 July 2014. Web. 09 Feb. 2015. <http://www.tideworks.com/company/news/article/?id=78>.

 

News

Years: 2014 | 2015

Interview with Pierre Liautaud on Port Lafito

GB Group’s Executive Vice President of Infrastructure, Mr. Pierre Liautaud, was interviewed today on Radio Metropole’s show Le Point in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, by Wendell Theodore. In this 40 minute feature, Mr. Liautaud goes into details of the Lafito Global project as a whole and even takes the viewer on a tour of the site.

Lafito Global is a fully integrated economic zone covering more than 400 hectares of oceanfront land crafted by the GB Group 20 kilometers north of Port-au-Prince in the town of Lafiteau with several access roads linking with the main highways to northern, central and southern Haiti.

By the end of 2015, the Lafito Global project will have required an impressive 145 million dollar investment.

It is the first project of its kind in the country to include:

• a modern international port & terminal
• an industrial free zone
• a business park
• a residential area

The development is designed to:

• drive the creation of more than 25,000 new jobs in Haiti by 2020
• foster a new vibrant economic social center
• establish attractive regional logistics
• become the industrial hub of choice in the region

Port Lafito is the centerpiece of the Lafito Global economic zone. This multi-purpose terminal boasts the deepest port in the nation and will handle containerized and loose-bulk cargo with state of the art equipment and software.

With operations to begin in March 2015, some key facts on Port Lafito:

• Haiti’s 1st Panamax Port
• 12.5 meters of safe draft
• 450 meters of berth to be 900 meters at the completion of phase 2.
• Tideworks terminal operating system (TOS)
• SSA Marine management
• Dry Terminal in Port-au-Prince

Lafito Industrial Free Zone is being developed within Lafito Global to attract international manufacturing companies & revitalize foreign investment in Haiti.

Some of the many advantages for Lafito Industrial Free Zone:

• Located just 1,000 meters from Port Lafito
• 100,000 square meters of manufacturing space
• Self-sufficient including all necessary services & infrastructure to support daily activities & commerce
• 25-megawatt power plant of competitive and reliable power
• Fiscal advantages for manufacturers producing in Haiti for exporting into the United States

News

Years: 2014 | 2015

Competition for transshipment business heats up in Caribbean

Miami Herald
Miami, FL
By: MIMI WHITEFIELD

“Two more Caribbean ports have tossed their hats into the ring as potential transshipment hubs that will be able to handle post-Panamax ships, which will begin transiting the Panama Canal in early 2016.

Officials from Port Lafito, a private port under development in Haiti, and Puerto Rico’s Port of the Americas outlined their plans during the 38th Annual Conference on the Caribbean and Central America in Miami last week.

The Haitian port will be the deepest in the country with a draft of 41 feet, which isn’t deep enough to handle a post-Panamax ship. But a second phase with a shipping channel that would potentially be 52-56 feet deep is under consideration, said Pierre E. Liautaud, a Port Lafito board member.

The Puerto Rican port in Ponce is big-ship-ready with a draft of nearly 50 feet. Port officials would like to see the Port of the Americas become a major global shipping hub in coming years and are currently looking for an international port operator to run it.

But the seas are already crowded with ports — both in the United States and the Caribbean — that want deep water to capitalize on the expansion of the Panama Canal, which will allow the passage of ships that can carry three times as many containers as the Panamax ships that now use the canal.

Billions of dollars of investment in new ports and port improvements have been made throughout the region or are being contemplated in this race for deep water.

PortMiami is currently dredging its shipping channel to a depth of 50-52 feet and will be the first U.S. East Coast port south of Norfolk, Virginia, with water deep enough to handle a fully loaded post-Panamax ship.

But not everyone is convinced this part of the world needs so many deep-water ports.

While any country with a coast needs a port that runs with relative efficiency, “we have too many ports in the Americas and there are too many ports that are developing container capabilities beyond what will ever be needed,” Richard Wainio, former chief executive of the Tampa Port Authority, said Monday. “There will be winners and losers.”

The Lafito container port is part of a larger development project that includes an industrial free zone, business park, a residential and commercial area and an ocean club with a boutique hotel, beach club and marina.

In Haiti, ports are “the hearts and lungs,” of the economy, said Liautaud. Port Lafito, which is scheduled to open in early 2015, will be managed by SSA Marine. Located north of the capital of Port-au-Prince, it’s a 25-minute drive from the international airport.

Haiti has a long history of light manufacturing and garment assembly, and the Lafito Global complex hopes to spur economic development and help revive the assembly industry.

Wainio said there’s little debate that Haiti needs a better, more efficient port. Port Lafito, he said, could help Haiti reach its goals of diversifying the economy, bringing in more maquiladora plants, and having a better gateway for exports. But he doubts the Haitian port needs to go to a depth of 52 to 56 feet in the second phase of development.

He sees Port Lafito’s future as a medium-sized facility serving the Haitian market, rather than a transshipment port where cargo is unloaded from bigger ships and shipped to regional ports on smaller vessels.

“They are building these deep-water ports all over. Will transshipment be successful in Haiti and Puerto Rico? Probably not,” he said.

Asked how Lafito Global justified the investment in the port given Haiti’s relatively low volume of trade, Liautaud responded, “You look beyond four or five years. If the infrastructure is there, we believe development will follow.”

He said even if post-Panamax ships don’t call in Haiti, even the ships being used for transshipment will get bigger. “We’re thinking 10 to 15 years down the road,” he added.

Carlos Urriolla, who spoke at the CCAA meeting at the JW Marriott Marquis in downtown Miami Friday, said, “I’ve never seen as many changes in the maritime industry as are coming in the next few years.”

As ships get bigger, ports feel they must join the arms race of deepening shipping channels and adding bigger cranes to prevent shipping lines from taking their business elsewhere. “The ports are placed in a difficult competitive position,” said Urriolla, senior vice president of Carrix, SSA Marine, which provides terminal management and other transportation services.

Ports throughout the Caribbean and Central America, including Panama itself, want to serve as transshipment hubs for the region. “Transshipment is good but you have to move a lot of cargo to make money,” he said. “Maybe some of the islands won’t be getting 10,000-TEU vessels because there is no need.”

The largest ships that can now fit through the canal have a capacity of 5,000 TEU’s — equivalent to 5,000 standard 20-foot containers.

But Puerto Rico’s Port of the Americas wants to be in the race — even though it has been a long time coming.

Planning for the Ponce port, which was envisioned as an important economic engine for the entire island, began about 15 years ago and ran into various political and regulatory obstacles.

But after an investment of nearly $300 million in public funds to upgrade the port, “now Puerto Rico is ready,” said Carlos Mejía, executive director of the Port of Ponce.

Mejía said the port, which has two post-Panamax cranes and 4,400 linear feet of quayside, is now prepared “for the game-changer the opening of the expansion of the Panama Canal will be in the region. But he he added, “We know competition will be even fiercer than expected.”

To get started, Mejía said, the Port of the Americas will need to begin with domestic cargo and then try to develop trans-shipment business and encourage establishment of maritime-related industries near the port.

But Wainio said the Ponce port will face stiff competition from ports such as Freeport, Bahamas and Kingston, Jamaica that already have built trans-shipment businesses and are closer to major shipping routes than Puerto Rico in the eastern Caribbean.

“The lion’s share of trans-shipment for the region will go through Panama and Cartagena, Colombia,” he added.” [1]

 

[1] WHITEFIELD, MIMI. “Competition for Transshipment Business Heats up in Caribbean.” Miami Herald. Alexandra Villoch, 24 Nov. 2014. Web. 25 Nov. 2014.

 

News

Years: 2014 | 2015

Port Lafito Haiti’s Panamax Port: Now a reality!

GB Group had the vision to develop a modern economic zone to enhance the Haitian economy.

Out of this vision, the first step is Port Lafito; Haiti’s Panamax port.

Due to the strategic alliance with SSA Marine / Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT) Port Lafito will be the most efficient port utilizing the latest heavy equipment and software solutions available for port and terminal management.

Port Lafito is the centerpiece of a unique industrial and residential area that will aid in the creation of thousands of jobs and bring additional regional competitiveness to Haiti as a whole.

To accompany this vision, the Haitian Government, financial institutions from the Haitian public and private sectors along with the most important International Development Agencies in the world have partnered with GB Group to provide the necessary financial means to complete this game-changing project.

Their support is a testimony that they share the same vision as GB Group and are committed to tackling the long-term challenges that will bring sustainable growth opportunities for all Haitians.

Port-Lafito-partners

It is with sincere gratitude that we wish to thank each one of them, their representatives and their management teams, for their trust and support.  

Together with them and you, our customers and partners, we will elevate Haiti’s role as a key center of trade and commerce in the Caribbean in the years to come.

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Gilbert Bigio 
Chairman

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Reuven Bigio
CEO

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PORT LAFITO CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS

News

Years: 2014 | 2015

Haiti’s first Panamax port – Port Lafito – announces strategic alliance with SSA Marine

Port Lafito S.A. is pleased to announce that it has reached a strategic alliance with SSA Marine to manage its Port and Terminal operations in Haiti. This historical first in the Haitian Port and Maritime sector, cements the vision set out two years ago by GB Group to build the country’s first modern container Port. The size and nature of the infrastructure and superstructure investments being made coupled with SSA’s world class operating standards and global marketing network represent a major paradigm shift for the future of the industry in Haiti.

map-haiti

About Port Lafito: Port Lafito is a private International Port currently in construction 20km outside Port-au-Prince. Upon opening in Q4 2014, it will be Haiti’s first Panamax port equipped with the latest quay and terminal equipment for handling containers and bulk cargo.

Port Lafito S.A. is a subsidiary of GB Group.

About SSA Marine: SSA Marine, the world’s largest independent, privately-held marine terminal operator, with activities at more than 210 terminal facilities and intermodal rail operations throughout geographies in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Asia, New Zealand and South Africa. Since its foundation in 1949, SSA Marine has continued to grow, always focusing on its customers’ interests.

SSA Marine is a subsidiary of holding company Carrix.

News

Years: 2014 | 2015

Port Lafito currently in its full construction phase and now eligible for fiscal incentives

Logo-portlafito-210Port Lafito S.A. receives public notification from the Ministry of Finance in Haiti, of its eligibility to fiscal incentives provided by Haitian Investment Code.

This additional milestone in the development of this ambitious and groundbreaking project is further proof that the Martelly – Lamothe Government is serious about opening the country to new and sustainable investments that will drive Haiti’s competitive edge regionally as well as catapulting employment and economic growth.

Port Lafito begun land preparation work in 2012 and is currently in its full construction phase.

The port is part of a larger Economic Development Zone which includes an Industrial Park and a Free Zone as well as residential and leisure amenities.

Port Lafito will be Haiti’s most efficient port thanks to:

  • Its decongested location
  • Overall design
  • Berthing
  • Terminal facilities
  • Professional state-of-the-art equipment
  • Management tools