Caribbean Feeder Services, Davie, FL USA
How it all started :
For centuries, shipping companies today called Global Carriers, provided connections between world ports into the Caribbean and its rim countries. They serviced a number of port connections along their trade routes, however their main emphasis was the connection from the Far East, Europe, South America, and North America to specific countries in the Caribbean. Little consideration was given to the fact that there was trade and transport needed from one regional port and country to the next.
This situation became further exasperated when the vessels of these Global Carriers became larger and port calls were reduced. Containers were discharging in various Caribbean and Central American hubs to be transshipped to their final destinations. Needless to say this caused many disruptions in various markets thus creating the need for regional feeder support.
Those events became the catalysts for the creation of Caribbean Feeder Services:
The concept was simple:
Offering neutral port connections to all mainline carriers.
Offering slots on CFS vessels on FIOS terms only
No ownership of any containers at all.
In August of 1999 the concept of a feeder network was started , supported by ZIM Line, Hapag-Lloyd, Hamburg-Sud and CMA-CGM. In 2004 Harren & Partner Group, assumed a major role in CFS, and the company was incorporated in Hamilton, Bermuda. During that year CFS already carried 294,000 TEU. In 2006, 2007, and 2008 the total volume handled was approximately 300,000 TEU per year. Thereafter with the recession having set in, volumes reduced to 250,000-275,000 TEU per annum. Today customer’s volumes have returned and CFS‘s volumes are fluctuating above 300 000 teus per annum.
The CFS development was strictly organic with new vessels being put into service only when customers and volumes made it necessary. This posed a challenging task for Harren & Partner Group which ultimately led to the construction of new buildings to facilitate CFS’ trade and growing demand, and the group has taken on the responsibility to make sure that sufficient tonnage is available to offer reliable service to the Global Carriers. Today CFS mostly employs vessels provided by Harren & Partner and some chartered vessels to compliment the in house fleet and to facilitate adjustment in the fleet due to volume fluctuation.
Dialog with CFS customers continues to be conducted on a very professional basis, and negotiations are always extremely transparent. This is a relationship where the customer’s level of knowledge is at least as high as that of CFS if not higher; but what makes CFS and its people stand out is our specific knowledge of the Caribbean region.
Caribbean Feeder Services, as part of the Harren & Partners group, is looking forward to interesting and challenging developments in the region. Many carriers have and will continue to merge, alliances are being forged and vessel sharing agreements have been reorganized. The CFS feeder vessels will always gravitate to the hubs where the carrier’s mainliner makes its call. CFS believes that its concept of total neutrality will carry it through and will make sure that we are always an important contributing part of the ever growing maritime transportation picture within the region.