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Freeport Gets Positive Response at RILA 2016

Reducing cost, greater efficiency and first to market are buzz terms for 2016 across the global supply chain and transportation industries.  For the Invest Grand Bahama (IGB) team, making the connect between Freeport’s location as a linchpin, and the vast transport network that surrounds it, was the action plan during the 2016 Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)  Supply Chain Conference, in Grapevine Texas, earlier this month.

According to a report from, worldwide retail sales were more than $22 trillion in 2014, and expected to reach around $24 trillion by the end of 2015. Supply chains and transport networks play an integral role in the success of this multi-trillion dollar industry.

“Focusing on how retailers are meeting consumer demands from a ‘timing aspect’ is crucial within the supply chain structure. Moving goods to and from the customer in a timely fashion is a key marker between survival and success in this intensely competitive industry,” shared Derek Newbold, Sr. Manager of Business Development for The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) and IGB.

“Our participation at RILA 2016, focused on showcasing Freeport’s position within a number of existing global transport networks and the potential value Freeport offers by virtue of its location on major trade routes. We also spoke to Freeport’s competitiveness as a low tax jurisdiction with preferential trade access into key consumer markets; benefits which are well suited for operations within the near–shore manufacturing, distribution and value addition sectors servicing the North American, South American, Caribbean or European markets,” Newbold added.

The 3-day RILA Supply Chain event took place at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center.  Industry specific workshops served as a meeting space for hundreds of C level executives representing some of the largest brands and service providers in the retail industry. Hot button topics addressed a number of challenges facing the industry, including Port Diversification; Logistics & Sourcing; e-Commerce; Global Networks; Issues facing Transportation and many others.

According to Newbold, key leads generated at the RILA 2016 event included prominent organizations such as TOLL Logistics, Prologis, XPO Logistics, Inc., and several others.

Ian Rolle, President of GBPA said, “RILA 2016 was an excellent event in GBPA’s 2016 promotional calendar. The IGB team identified a number of significant leads, and discussions are ongoing.  We’ve received positive communication from Prologis, a renowned industrial real estate developer, whom we’ve been looking at for a while, so we are very optimistic with the results thus far.”

He added that, as with projects of this nature, GBPA will continue its conversations with executives of the various companies, to move tangible leads to the next level.


The Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) gave GBPA responsibility for the development, administration and management, and provision of services within an area called the 'Port Area' (230 sq. miles). GBPA was mandated by this Agreement to build a deep water harbour, an industrial community and required infrastructure for the City.



GBPA has achieved an astonishing amount since its inception in 1955.  When first created it was a Grand Bahamian business conglomerate charged not only with land and commercial development but also with all the regulatory and administrative functions of the Freeport/Lucaya.



Firstly, I wish to thank Joan Albury and the Counsellors for this platform enabling us to share with the Grand Bahama community, the outlook for our island! 2015 marks the 60th year of the birth of Freeport and the Hawksbill Creek Agreement; 60 years of a partnership between The Government of The Bahamas and The Grand Bahama Port Authority. I'm here to raise hopes for 2015 and to lay a few popular myths to rest - For those who don't know me, I am Sarah St George.