(Jacksonville, Fla.; July 12, 2002) – Crowley Liner Services yesterday delivered the first direct shipment of American apples to Cuba in more than 40 years. The 17 tons of Washington-grown Red Delicious apples, about 100,000 pieces of fruit in all, were transported in a 40-foot Crowley refrigerated container from Gulfport, Miss., to Havana.
The Northern Fruit Company of Wenatchee, Wash., sold this first apple shipment to Cuba’s food import organization, Alimport, and Crowley, the first US carrier to re-enter the Cuban market last December, was chosen to transport the load.
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) was a proponent of the sale. She visited Cuba in January to promote Washington state agricultural products. Washington is the nation’s top apple-producing state, providing more than half of the fresh apples eaten by Americans each year.
Last year, Crowley became the first U.S. carrier to obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C., to provide regularly scheduled common carrier services for licensed cargo from the United States to the Republic of Cuba. This was made possible by the “Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000,” which authorizes OFAC to license the transport of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices or other products directly from the United States to the Republic of Cuba.
Crowley has been providing ocean cargo transportation to Cuba on an inducement basis since its historic first shipment Dec. 16, 2001.
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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