Crowley New Venture and Partnership in New Florida Pilot Project
In an effort to enhance customers’ benefits and continue to offer new ways to improve an evolving customer service strategy, Crowley and Customized Brokers have contributed to a pilot program with the Florida Perishables Trade Coalition. As a founding member of the Coalition, Customized Brokers hopes to broaden the scope of fresh produce imports into the state of Florida with items that include Peruvian citrus, apples and pears from Uruguay, as well as Argentinian blueberries. The programs would allow for the clearance of these cold-treatment perishables into Florida ports.
Nelly Yunta, VP Customized Brokers, tells AndNowUKnow, “With this program we are looking to give our customers another option and allow them to bring a new portfolio of products through Florida ports. As an organization, we are spearheading this project, which at present, only allows for grapes and blueberries. We are currently waiting for USDA approval to move forward with a future expansion.”
Customized Brokers, a subsidiary of Crowley Maritime Corporation, has been helping growers, importers and exporters around the world build their businesses by providing efficient service and compliance expertise with a careful attention to detail. With South Florida as strategic entry ports (via air and ocean) for agricultural products cultivated in Latin America, Customized Brokers is looking to evolve the future of the Crowley program.
In addition, Crowley and Customized Brokers have added a new state-of-the-art, cold storage warehouse facility to offer customers multiple humidity and temperature-controlled coolers to handle perishables. Located in Miami, CrowleyFresh is an innovative facility that can service cargoes arriving in South Florida from Latin and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and the Far East with destinations throughout the world.
Highlights of the service include:
-Presence in major ports of entry 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
-Expediting the importation process to make sure time and temperature sensitive cargo arrive to market at its peak of freshness.
- In the event that perishables are detained, a team of experts works quickly to provide unmatched guidance and communications to expedite the release process.
- Connect customers with appropriate laboratory, certification and fumigation services quickly, should they be required.
- In-transit facility for goods requiring temporary storage before heading to their final destination.
Another issue that is top of mind for Crowley is the proposed regulations from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to impose fees on treatments and increase overtime and inspection charges. Changes to the fees it charges are created to recoup the costs of conducting agricultural quarantine inspections (AQI) at U.S. ports of entry.
We also want to make sure that USDA in South Florida maintains its extended hours Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m representing a significant change from the previous hours of operation, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday only.
“We are currently trying to address these issues as they will have an effect on rates that are transferred to customers,” Yunta tells us.
It is shaping up to be a fruitful year for customers of the Crowley family of companies.