Air Transport World

Curacao: new Caribbean hub. (Logistics Management International Curacao N.V., HATO Handling)

Although Curacao ranks as the largest of the Netherlands Antilles, it hardly is one of the giants of the caribbean. However, the island's proximity to South America, its ties to the European Community and its Dutch attitude toward businesses are rapidly turning it into the Caribbean's major hub for air cargo.

It also helps that Curacao airport's 11,300-ft. runway is the longest in the Caribbean and is able to handle a fully loaded Boeing 747-400 and that Curacao is a major seaport with the world's seventh-largest natural harbor. Add to that the rapid industrial development of a Caribbean island that is outside the hurricane belt and you have a perfect match.

Actually, Curacao's history already and established it as a major shipping center, even discounting its early, somewhat lurid past associations, first with pirates, then the slave trade. During World War II, its refineries produced more than 30% of the oil supplies for the Allied forces and it still is a major refinery site for South American oil. Its harbor handled more than 600,000 tons of cargo in 1990, of which 152,159 tons were re-exports, or transhipments.

At the core of Curacao's development as an air-cargo hug are two companies, one serving as the driving force and the other as the operating arm. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.