Tropical Shipping and Cargo Express Celebrate 15 Years of Partnership

To celebrate a milestone 15th year of partnership with Tropical Shipping in the Turks & Caicos Islands, Cargo Express will hold a Customer Appreciation breakfast on Friday, April 1, 2011 and will close at 3:00 p.m. that day for employee recognition.

“Congratulations to Carl Simmons and to all of our team members! Hip, hip, hooray!” Cargo Express’ Beryl Kerr wrote to employees.

The Tropic Flyer made her maiden voyage to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands, on April 1, 1996 with just seven RO/RO (roll-on/roll-off) containers on board. The containers were driven off the ship and then driven to our customers. The less-than-container load cargo was unloaded outdoors, with refrigerated less than container load cargo being pulled with chains to the door of the container that was sitting on wheels, and then the cargo lifted directly into the customer’s vehicle.

This was the first time Provo had regularly scheduled container service and our first customer that day, Island Pride, is still our customer today!

From those humble beginnings, Cargo Express built an office building and warehouse – the first of its kind with an extensive bonded area, refrigerated container plugs, a large fenced in area for yard cargo and security cameras throughout.

Cargo Express then continued to expand to keep pace with the market, which grew by double digits in the early years of the service.

In 2006, as Tropical and Cargo Express celebrated their 10 year anniversary, the warehouse was expanded to keep up with growing business. Cargo Express purchased special forklifts that can make tight turns, allowing the shelving to be brought closer together for the LCL to be more accessible. An LCL and FCL trucking service was implemented to provide timely service to our customers, added to the brokerage service that was already available.

Further, there have been special charters to the developing islands of Dellis Cay, West Caicos and Parrot Cay, which had not previously had direct vessel calls. Tropical then started direct service to South Caicos. More recently, there was a direct call from the Dominican Republic to Provo to deliver specialized generators that originated in Europe.

After Hurricane Ike in 2008, when much of Grand Turk was destroyed, including the Government warehouse, LCL was once again unloaded outside. Tropical and Cargo Express pulled together to assist with Hurricane Recovery in Provo, Grand Turk and South Caicos. Cargo Express responded by opening a private warehouse in Grand Turk, further improving the service.

In 2010, Tropical and Cargo Express hosted Disaster Management Workshops in Provo and Grand Turk. These well-attended events, sponsored by many customers, resulted in additional local disaster management activities in the private sector.

In 2011, it is a new world. The Turks & Caicos Islands, like the rest of the world, have been severely impacted by the global financial crisis. Additionally, there is a local fiscal crisis that has negatively impacted new growth. However the Turks & Caicos Islands have a bright future, with extensive areas remaining for new development and growth.

Tropical and Cargo Express have a consistent 15-year track record in the Turks & Caicos Islands serving our customers. It takes everyone at Tropical and Cargo Express to make it happen each and every day.

From the Full Container Load (FCL) cargo trucked throughout the U.S. and Canada to Global and Inter-Island cargo to LCL cargo receiving at the Miami warehouse and other locations to our exceptional Customer Service and Traffic departments to Vessel Operations, Seven Seas Insurance, Sales, Pricing, Accounting, Human Resources, I/S, Organization Support, Aviation, and a local team of 35 professionals in Provo, Grand Turk and South Caicos – working together for our customers has made this partnership the success it is!

Please join us in recognizing 15 years of continuous service to the Turks & Caicos Islands