(Jacksonville, Fla.; Aug. 12, 2003) – Over the past three weeks Crowley Liner Services has transported more than 400 head of cattle, plus sheep and bison, from the United States to Havana, Cuba the first shipments of livestock direct from the U.S. via ocean transport in more than 40 years.
The three livestock shipments originated from Crowley’s port facilities in Gulfport, Miss., and Port Everglades and Jacksonville, Fla.
The voyage from Gulfport on July 25 included 140 head of cattle, three bulls, 12 bison, and one shorthorn sheep. The trip actually began with 139 head of cattle, but a calf born during transit pushed the total number to 140.
One hundred twenty-eight head of cattle were transported from Port Everglades on July 31, and most recently, 136 head of cattle departed Jacksonville on Aug. 9 and arrived in Havana yesterday.
The livestock in all of these shipments was carried in specially designed, animal-friendly, cowtainers. These modified 40-foot shipping containers have open-air windows for ventilation, roof racks for storing hay to eat, and plenty of water to drink. To ensure the well-being of all the animals, a handler was present onboard the ships during each voyage.
The animals were purchased from various U.S. companies by Alimport, the Cuban governments food import company, and shipped under the agricultural export exception to the Cuban embargo. The livestock shipment agreements were worked out during the U.S. Food and Agribusiness Exhibition Trade Fair held last year in Havana. Based on those agreements, Crowley expects to handle additional livestock shipments for the foreseeable future.
“Crowley’s livestock shipments to Cuba are significant for our company as well as for U.S.-Cuban trade,” said Crowley vice president Jay Brickman. “The movement of live animals required a great amount of logistical planning. We’ve transported animals before, so we were pleased to be able to bring our expertise to the table here.”
In 2001 Crowley became the first U.S. carrier to obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to provide regularly scheduled common carrier services for licensed cargo from the United States to Cuba, and on Dec. 16, 2001, became the first carrier to call directly on Cuba from the United States in 40 years.
Since then, the company has shipped to Cuba a myriad of cargoes such as frozen poultry, apples, grocery store products, dry food commodities, playground equipment, cotton, lumber, and other humanitarian goods.
Cuba is now part of Crowley’s regular sailing schedule and receives a port call every ten days from Jacksonville, Fla., and every other week from Gulfport, Miss.
Crowley Liner Services, headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., is a subsidiary of Oakland-based Crowley Maritime Corporation and is part of its liner segment. The corporation, founded in 1892, is primarily family- and employee-owned, and is engaged in worldwide logistics, liner services, contract towing and transportation, energy support services, ship assist and escort services, vessel management and petroleum and chemical marine transport. Additional information about Crowley, its subsidiaries and business units may be found on the Internet at www.crowley.com.
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