Havana, January 17 (RHC/Seatrade Cruise News)-- In what is being described as a Cuba-U.S. cruise industry first, an Italian-based global logistics giant has been cleared by the U.S. government for the transporting of U.S. agricultural products to Cuba to supply cruise operations here.
The U.S. approval is to benefit Italian company Savino del Bene, which will be able to ship perishable items like produce and cheeses directly from the U.S. to Cuba's Mariel container port, where they'll be cleared and then transported to cruise vessels in Havana.
Savino Del Bene Vice President for Global Logistics, John Paul Brigneti, called the approval “a major achievement.” He said: “We are very proud of this,” noting that the exemption will benefit U.S. distributors, since until now procurement for their Cuba cruise operation had to obtained in Europe.
For the cruisers, it ensures the ability to procure provisions in a very short time-frame. A container leaving the U.S. on Monday would arrive in Mariel Harbor, west of Havana, on Tuesday, and would be received at the ship no later than Sunday.
Savino del Bene said it has in place an organization in Cuba to manage the complete process including documentation, brokerage/clearance, local transport and stevedoring. The company hopes to make the first shipment in early February.
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