JIS News

Antilles Freight Corporation, a Florida-based shipping company, was named the US Department of Commerce’s Minority Exporter of the Year, at the 24th annual Minority Enterprise Development Week (MED Week) awards gala, held in Miami recently.
The company was also the recipient of the Regional Award for Outstanding Performance, scoring ahead of some 30 minority companies from several states throughout the Southern USA.
Jamaican national and the company’s Executive Vice-President, Joseph Rhoden, along with his partner, Eddie Lopez, launched the company in 1988, after spending years as employees in the shipping industry.
With nearly 16 employees, the company handles over 15,000 shipments monthly to ports in the CARICOM region from the USA, Canada, Europe and the Far East.
Mr. Rhoden, also a Director of the Board of the Jamaica USA Chamber of Commerce, based in Miami, spoke of the company’s “meticulous operation, ensuring personalized care and high level of service at terminals throughout the USA and at foreign destinations”.
The company, which was described as a star performer in the portfolio of minority business, was awarded for sales growth, new market penetration, diversity of international markets, export cargo volume and contributions to the overall growth of the region’s foreign trade.
Also gaining recognition for its commitment to community service, Antilles Freight has been an ardent supporter of community events involving the Jamaican Diaspora, as well as the South Florida community at large. Along with his wife Michelle, Mr. Rhoden established a scholarship fund at the University of Florida in 1994, in memory of his two children who died tragically in a car accident in Florida. Both were students of that university at the time. Through the Foundation, students of Caribbean descent are awarded scholarships annually, three of whom have completed studies in dentistry, along with several others who have completed undergraduate studies.
In order to better handle high customer demand and general operations, technological improvements have also been a part of the company’s recent expansion programme.
According to Mr. Rhoden, the Antilles Freight management team was aware that the shipping market was part of the global arena, and “we are responding accordingly”.