Posts Categorized: International Shipping

In 2020, Saltchuk companies gave $4M to the communities we live and work in

November 15, 2021

Giving of time, talent, and treasure in the communities that support our employees and businesses is a value the founding members of Saltchuk shared, and one that has become a cornerstone of our family business.

We are proud that in 2020, during an extraordinary year of challenge for so many, Saltchuk companies provided almost $4M million in grants, in-kind freight transportation, and employee-matching contributions in our communities.

In 2020, Saltchuk matched employee donations of $187,000 and gave another $1.76 million in cash grants through individual operating companies and Saltchuk Regional Giving Committees in Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, and Florida/the Caribbean. Our Regional Giving Program expanded its usual support of youth development and postsecondary education to include emergent needs such as food security, housing, and healthcare insurance related to the COVID-19 crisis. Our companies provided nearly $2 million in in-kind transportation for emergency supplies, recycling, food bank donations, and other community programs. Whether focused on health, the environment, social services, the arts, youth, and/or education, Saltchuk companies intend for their gifts to build capacity and resiliency in our communities.

As shareholders, we set a minimum target for community giving to ensure consistency and accountability to our value of giving back. As we reflect on the last year, we want to express our appreciation and gratitude to the communities and employees who support our family of companies. We hope this report provides a sense of ownership and pride, reflecting the values we share and the commitment we as shareholders feel to our communities.

– Saltchuk Shareholders

Read the 2020 Saltchuk companies annual giving report

Tropical Shipping Enters Suriname Market with Fastest Transit Time

May 4, 2020

Only Eight Days from Florida to Suriname

Paramaribo, SurinameTropical Shipping has announced it will serve the Port of Paramaribo with once-weekly sailings beginning May 14. The new eight-day transit will be the fastest service between Florida and Suriname. Tropical will ship everything from small packages to refrigerated cargo, dry goods, building supplies and vehicles. Based in South Florida, Tropical has served The Bahamas and Caribbean, including Guyana, for more than 50 years and added Belize to its ports of call in 2019.

“Moving into the Suriname market is a natural fit for Tropical,” said Tropical Shipping Assistant Vice President Mark Lopez. “It enables us to integrate our Caricom neighbor into Tropical’s network for inter-island commerce and provide an on-time, reliable supply chain to Suriname from the U.S. and Canada.”

Tropical Shipping uses state-of-the-art technology that allows customers to track their cargo for the entire journey, including at sea. Tropical is known for its on-time service and good communication with its business partners, something those customers have come to depend on.

“When you’re in the food business, you need a carrier that’s reliable,” said Willie Hamed, owner of Plaza Extra, one of the largest grocery store chains on St. Thomas and St. Croix. “We need to get fresh produce, meat, milk and other items consistently, and Tropical has provided us excellent service for more than 30 years. If there’s a delay on the mainland, they let us know, so we can plan for that. We couldn’t do what we do without them.”

Southbound service to Suriname will depart the Port of Palm Beach every Thursday and arrive in Paramaribo each Friday of the following week. The northbound 11-day service will depart Suriname on Friday and arrive in the U.S. on a Tuesday. Tropical has retained Best Maritime Services as its Suriname agent.

For more information on Tropical Shipping and the new Suriname service, visit:

Foss Maritime Joins FEMA’s Response and Relief Operations in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands    

October 4, 2017

SEATTLE – Foss Maritime Company announced today that it has contracted with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support the relief and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

Three accommodation vessels are being utilized and will serve as floating hotels, providing safe housing and warm meals for responders. With these vessels, Foss will be able to help feed and temporarily house 729 people.

“We have the ability and the commitment to serve the wide range of needs of hurricane victims in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and are prepared to offer additional services, as needed, to FEMA and other federal agencies throughout all relief efforts,” said Will Roberts, Foss CCO.  

“For Foss, this type of project is at the heart of what we do. We are glad to do our part to help the families affected by this devastating disaster by enlisting the skills of our finest operators and providing needed equipment,” he said.

Foss has deployed a multiple disciplined team consisting of operations, fleet engineering, project management, safety, marine assurance, supply chain, legal and finance.

Foss sister companies, Tropical Shipping and Tote Maritime Puerto Rico, employ 42 employees in Puerto Rico and 115 in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Founded in 1889, Seattle-based Foss Maritime offers a complete range of maritime services and project management to customers across the Pacific Rim, Europe, South America and around the globe. Foss has one of the largest fleets of tugs and barges on the American West Coast. The company has harbor services and transportation operations in all major U.S. West Coast ports, including the Columbia and Snake River system, Hawaii and Alaska. Foss operates two shipyards and offers worldwide marine transportation, emphasizing safety, environmental responsibility and high-quality service. See for more information.

Tropical Shipping Announces Port Change in Canadian Service

November 22, 2016


Palm Beach, FL:  Tropical Shipping is committed to providing the highest quality, on-time shipping services to our customers. Please be advised of the following change to our port operations in Canada.

Effective January 9th, 2017, Tropical Shipping will move its port operations to Halterm Container Terminal in the Port of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This move will improve our long term commitment to our customers with improved intermodal connections and terminal capacity designed to meet market demands. Tropical Shipping’s Canadian service will continue to provide a weekly sailing every Monday from the Halterm Container Terminal, Halifax.

Tropical Shipping’s last sailing from the Port of Saint John will be December 27, 2016.

We want to thank the Port of Saint John and Logistec for their valued partnership and excellent service over the past 15 years. The Port of Saint John has been a supporter of Tropical Shipping and we appreciate the relationship.

Tropical Shipping has had a presence in Canada for over 30 years. It is our belief that this strategic move will better align Tropical Shipping now and in the future with the ability to service the Canadian market with the best shipping service to Florida, The Bahamas and the Caribbean. Tropical Shipping will maintain its local office in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Tropical Shipping values the close relationships we have built with our customers throughout our more than 50-year history. Thank you for choosing us as your carrier of choice. For further information, please contact your local sales representative or the Canadian Customer Service Team at 866-767-6576.

Complete contact listings, including telephone and fax numbers and email address information can be found 24/7/365 on our website on the Bookings and Customer Service page – found in the Contact area of our website,

Tropical Shipping to Update Fleet With Six New Vessels

July 5, 2016

Tropical signs order for six new vessels from Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard

Palm Beach, FL.—In early June, executives from Tropical Shipping traveled to Guangzhou, China to sign an order for six new vessels; the order represents close to $150 million dollars in fleet reinvestment and commitment to the Caribbean market. On order from Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard are two Carib class vessels, two Mini Express class vessels and two additional Carib class option vessels.

tropical signs order to upgrade fleet“The objective of Tropical’s new build program is to provide for continued future market leadership and profitability by having the right size ships with the right operating characteristics for our marketplace,” said Tropical Shipping’s Executive Chairman Rick Murrell. “Essential operating characteristics such as optimal refrigerated capacity will ensure that Tropical Shipping can meet future customer needs and changing market demands with its differentiated service.”

Carib class vessels are similar to Tropical’s Tropic Carib and Tropic Unity, which entered into service in 2002. The new1,100 TEU vessels feature a service speed of 20 knots and are equipped with, 2 cranes, 260 reefer plugs, hi-cubes below deck, and bow and stern thrusters that will minimize the need for tugs.

Two new Carib class vessels will replace two chartered vessels, greatly improving service time from Saint John, Canada and Palm Beach, Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Two additional vessels on option would replace the Tropic Sun and Tropic Tide currently deployed in the St. Thomas Leeward Trade, as they are operating at 100% capacity.  The Sun and Tide would then be redeployed to the Nassau and Cayman services.tropical

Mini Express class vessels are similar to the Tropic Express, which entered service in 2011. The two 300 TEU vessels are equipped with 2 cranes, a ramp for roll-on roll-off cargo,  60 reefer plugs, and bow and stern thrusters. The Mini Express vessels are able to serve shallow draft ports such as Providenciales, and will replace two Night class vessels currently deployed in the Marsh Harbour–Turks and Caicos–Dominican Republic service.

“Tropical Shipping has been and continues to be the leader in ocean transportation to the Caribbean. Tropical develops and maintains outstanding relationships with our customers and provides them unmatched on time reliability and fast, purpose built, versatile ships.  Our vessels are first to market with our customers’ freight,” said Murrell.

The $150 million dollar investment includes all six ships, as well as $5 million for additional equipment such as containers, chassis and gensets to support the added capacity.