Crowley completes first Cuba-to-US commercial shipment in more than 50 years

Florida-based Crowley maritime has announced the completion of a breakthrough cargo shipment from Cuba to the US, with the delivery of a load of artisanal charcoal to Port Everglades in Florida.

Crowley’s statement called it “the first truly commercial shipment from a Cuban cooperative to a private U.S. business since the U.S.-Cuba trade embargo was imposed more than 50 years ago”.

Political tensions made trade very sparse between the Cold War foes after tensions followed the Cuban revolution of 1959.

The relationship has seen a thaw and a slight loosening of the embargo since former US President Barack Obama’s initiative of December 2014.

This charcoal delivery was made by the Crowley container ship K Storm.

Crowley already had a 15-year history of transporting agricultural commodities, medical devices and other products under licence from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the opposite direction, from the US to Cuba.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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