By air, land, and sea: Getting things from there to here and back again

Logistics throughout the islands are made simple with a variety of options by land, air and sea.

 

Understanding the dynamics of logistics for a business operating in the Turks and Caicos Islands is tantamount to a chef knowing how to use his favorite ingredients to achieve the perfect dish. Opportunities exist in various forms for goods to travel to and from the islands as well as within the islands, but know-how is the key to getting things quickly and efficiently.

Air freight available daily.

With little in the way of local manufacturing, nearly everything – from cereal to printer ink – is imported. Sea freight is commonly used, with several firms offering services locally, almost all of which utilise Southern Florida as their international point of origin and destination.

Ships generally make the return trip weekly (in some cases biweekly or bimonthly) at regularly scheduled days and times, able to transport everything from small packages up to full forty-foot containers. Most ships arrive at the port on Providenciales, but trans-shipments are available to Grand Turk and South Caicos.

Sea freight routes are global and inter-island.

Air freight arrives regularly, offering an equally reliable solution to getting documents or goods into and out of the country. Overnight-services are available to and from some areas, for which local operators can provide specific times and rates. It is also possible through a local agency to set up a U.S. based mailbox which will forward mail regularly to a P.O. Box on Providenciales.

Most shipping, freight-forwarding or consolidation agencies will aid (for a fee) in processing of paperwork when it comes to clearing customs and paying duties and fees. Brokerage firms also exist, offering advice and assistance with these processes.

DHL, UPS and FedEx all serve the islands.

Moving goods between islands can also be handled by air or by sea. Regular sea cargo service is currently available between Providenciales and North Caicos, with possible stops on the minor cays along the way as well as weekly service from Providenciales to South Caicos and Grand Turk. Shipping schedules to Salt Cay can vary depending on season and weather. Individual needs can also be met based on availability. Inter-island air services such as Air Turks and Caicos and Caicos Express also offer options based on size and availability.

Moving goods across a single island can be handled by various local trucking firms. When it comes to transporting cargo to Middle Caicos, it is necessary to utilise one of these companies, as the cargo is only shipped to North Caicos and then driven to the connecting island.

Image: Steve Passmore/Provo Pictures