A shipment of artisanal charcoal made its way from Cuba to Port Everglades aboard Crowley’s container ship K Storm, marking 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.
Crowley was the first U.S. carrier to obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury to provide regularly scheduled common carrier services
for licensed cargo from the U.S. to Cuba. Crowley launched its Cuba service in December 2001, becoming the first U.S. carrier to reenter the country in nearly 40 years, and has maintained a regularly scheduled service ever since, currently operating from Port Everglades in Florida
The opportunity to participate in the trade was made possible by the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, and cooperation of the Cuban government
. The act authorized OFAC to license the transport of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices or other products directly from the U.S. to the Republic of Cuba. The U.S. Department of Commerce issues licenses for the products that can be shipped to Cuba.
In addition to transporting frozen poultry and a variety of other foodstuffs to the island, Crowley has also shipped equipment for major events and projects, such as sporting events and concerts.