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Crowley buys Puerto Rico Freight Systems

Crowley has performed as string of acquisitions in the last year.

Jacksonville-based Crowley Holdings Inc., parent company of the 119-year-old Crowley Maritime Corporation, announced Friday it has acquired the business and assets of Puerto Rico Freight Systems in Guaynabo, for an undisclosed amount.

News is my Business learned of the impending acquisition of PRFS, a logistics company specializing in freight consolidation and less than container load transportation throughout the Caribbean founded in 1985, in early June, but Crowley officials would not confirm the information.

The PRFS business will become a part of Crowley Caribbean Logistics LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Crowley, and will continue to operate, Crowley officials said.

“Adding the business and assets of Puerto Rico Freight Systems to the Crowley family strengthens our position as a total shipping and logistics provider on the island and in the Caribbean,” said Tom Crowley Jr., chairman, president and CEO of Crowley. “The acquisition will allow us to offer customers more complete solutions targeted to their needs.”

PRFS, which has approximately 46 employees, including office personnel and warehouse workers, coordinates shipments from Europe, Central and South America, Asia and the United States to Puerto Rico, and more than 19 destinations throughout the Caribbean Basin. The company provides pick-up service throughout Puerto Rico for LCL and full container load shipments and one-carrier responsibility for all Caribbean destinations.

Other PRFS services include risk insurance, documentation, bills of lading to the Caribbean from international origins, hazardous material handling and shipping, U.S. Customs bonded cartman’s licensing, container freight station services, and more. The company also operates a 51,000 square-foot protected U.S. Customs bonded container station warehouse in the San Juan Free Trade Zone. The facility is specially designed to handle oversized cargo and employees use a triple-check system to ensure shipment accuracy. All of these services will be continued under the Crowley Caribbean Logistics name.

“Puerto Rico Freight Systems has already developed the relationships, quality and reputation that Crowley customers have come to expect, and we are certain that all involved will benefit greatly from the synergies that exist between the two companies,” said Steve Collar, senior vice president and general manager of Crowley’s logistics group. “This strategic acquisition helps to solidify Crowley as a market leader in the region, a benefit that will translate into better solutions for customers.”

Among those who will benefit from the acquisition are manufacturers in Puerto Rico seeking to export goods as well as customers in the Caribbean in need of Puerto Rico suppliers. PRFS’ expansion into import services from around the world gives Puerto Rico and Caribbean importers access to more competitive sources, and the company’s exclusive network of agents throughout the Caribbean and the world are able to assist with importing to the region.

String of buyouts
The PRFS acquisition is the latest in a series by Crowley to carry out its strategy of providing more transportation and logistics solutions through a single provider. In September 2010, the company acquired trucking and transportation company Islandwide Air and Ocean. Earlier this year, in January, Crowley acquired Jarvis Freight International, Inc., a Houston-based freight forwarding, export packing and logistics company primarily serving the energy, oilfield and mining industries.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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