This article covers both Tropical Shipping, the international shipping company, and Cargo Express Services Limited, its local agent which is locally known as Tropical Shipping.
argo Express Services was founded in November 1995, and became the local agents for Tropical Shipping in 1996. Tropical Shipping is an international shipping, transportation, and distribution conglomerate owned by the Saltchuk group of companies and headquartered in Washington State.
Full container load (FCL), less than full container load (LCL), warehousing (both bonded and non-bonded) and trucking are offered as services.
Brokerage services and customs clearance can be handled in-house.
In Europe, Kestrel Lines is the European partner and provides service between British and European ports and the Turks and Caicos (via Florida).
The first Topical vessel, Tropic Flyer, arrived April 1st, 1996 at South Dock, Providenciales. This ship had a capacity of 64 containers (TEUs, twenty foot equivalent units), although only 7 containers were on-board. The Tropic Freedom, a China-built vessel christened on September 29, 2018, has a capacity of 308 container (TEUs).
New Mini Express Vessels
Beginning in 2019, Tropical Shipping began introduction of their new Mini Express Class vessels (such as Tropic Freedom), which have 12-foot drafts and are built for servicing shallow ports, such as Marsh Harbour (the Bahamas), Providenciales, and some ports in the Dominican Republic. Tropic Gem is the new sister ship of Tropic Freedom.
This class of ships are built in China, with German engines, and built-in cranes that are manufactured in Austria.
Cargo Express started off with an 800 sq ft (74 sq m) warehouse at the Town Center Mall (Beatrice Butterfield Building), and later expanded to their current location on South Dock Road. Service is offered to Providenciales, South Caicos, and Grand Turk.
In the early days, LCL cargo was originally unloaded outdoors direct at the dock into customers’ vehicles.
Island Pride Supermarket was Tropical’s first customer, and it’s successor business, Graceway Smart Supermarket and the Graceway group of companies, are still a customer today.