JANUARY 25, 2017—In an historic event in U.S.-Cuba commercial trade, Crowley Maritime reports that its 8,246 gt container ship K Storm has loaded a shipment of artisanal charcoal on January 24 in Cuba bound for Port Everglades, FL.
In a statement, Crowley Maritime says: “Tuesday’s shipment of artisanal charcoal from Cuba aboard Crowley’s container ship K Storm, the first truly commercial shipment from a Cuban cooperative to a private U.S. business since the U.S.-Cuba trade embargo was imposed more than 50 years ago, adds another chapter to our company’s long history of trade in the Caribbean Basin. Perhaps more than anything it reflects Crowley’s approach to trade with the Cuba market: patience, passion and persistence. Working with the importer, Crowley executives, including Jay Brickman, Vice President, Cuba and Government Services, helped ensure appropriate, expeditious ocean transport of the cargo to Port Everglades.
“The import shipment today follows 15 years of Crowley’s liner and logistics teams operating within the framework of regulations of both the U.S. and Cuban governments to transport U.S. exports to the island. Crowley was the first U.S. carrier to obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury to provide regularly scheduled common carrier services for licensed cargo from the United States to the Republic of Cuba. Crowley launched its Cuba service in December 2001, becoming the first U.S. carrier to re-enter Cuba in nearly 40 years, and has maintained a regularly scheduled service ever since, currently operating from Port Everglades in Florida.
“The opportunity to participate in the trade was made possible by the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, and cooperation of the Cuban government. The act authorized OFAC to license the transport of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices or other products directly from the U.S. to the Republic of Cuba. The U.S. Department of Commerce issues licenses for the products that can be shipped to Cuba.
“In addition to transporting frozen poultry and a variety of other foodstuffs to the island, Crowley has safely and reliably shipped equipment for major events and projects, such as sporting events and concerts.
“As the United States’ policies with Cuba continue to evolve, Crowley remains at the forefront of trade development between the two countries. This Thursday Crowley looks forward to supporting and participating in the visit of a delegation of officials from the Republic of Cuba at Port Everglades. Crowley is supporting the Port’s effort to responsibly increase economic opportunities, and the discussions with stakeholders provide valuable opportunities to foster trade.”
Built in 2008, the K Storm has an overall length of 139.6m, beam of 22.2m, and draft of 7.36m, with a container capacity of 974 TEU.