Crowley Maritime expects to see 20 percent growth in its Puerto Rican transshipment volume, coming from the recent reclassification of its warehouse and distribution center there as a Foreign Trade Zone.
Crowley Caribbean Logistics, the company’s non-vessel-operating common carrier serving the trade with Puerto Rico, recently received the reclassification for its warehouse and logistics center in the Guaynabo Free Trade Zone, about 10 minutes away from the Port of San Juan.
“Becoming a Foreign Trade Zone will definitively have a direct impact in our business growth plans for 2014 and the upcoming years,” said Ayesha Diaz, Crowley’s general manager of logistics.
She said Crowley expects to gain “major” volume from ocean shipments because one of its business focuses is on less-than-containerload ocean transportation services.
The reclassification of the facility, which Crowley first applied for in February, allows it to receive, store and process cargo without it being subject to formal U.S. Customs entry procedures and payment of duties until the cargo enters the U.S. supply chain and is made available for domestic use and consumption.
“Becoming a Foreign Trade Zone allows Crowley to offer additional services and benefits to both domestic and international customers,” Diaz said. “These expanded capabilities and services allow us to work with new customers that we were not able to serve in the past.”
The center will handle transshipments between U.S. ports and between Puerto Rico and international destinations. The center can admit, store, exhibit, assemble, manufacture or process both foreign and domestic goods without being subject to formal customs entry procedures and payment of duties, unless and until the foreign merchandise enters the customs territory for domestic consumption in the U.S.
Diaz said the sectors that will benefit the most from the center’s Foreign Trade Zone status are the pharmaceutical, electronics, automotive and petroleum industries.