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As a result of its acquisition last fall by Jacksonville, FL-based Crowley Holdings, Customized Brokers, a Customs-clearance company that specializes in refrigerated cargo that arrives by air and sea, now offers additional logistics services to its current and expanding customer base.

Patricia Compres, president and chief executive officer of Miami-based Customized Brokers, told The Produce News March 6 that her firm is stronger than ever with the Crowley connection, and that the company is expanding its Philadelphia and Los Angeles offices.

"The possibilities are now endless with the full backup of Crowley Holdings," said Ms. Compres. "We can streamline and provide services that we were unable to offer before. As we get the word out, the industry will understand that there is so much that is positive and exciting."

Rinus Schepen, senior vice president and general manager of Crowley's logistics group, said in a press release last fall when the acquisition of Customized was announced, "Crowley's investment in Customized Brokers provides our logistics group with an additional team of expert customs brokers to supplement Crowley's current capabilities. Additionally, it will allow Customized Brokers to offer Crowley's comprehensive suite of services such as airfreight, cargo consolidation and deconsolidation, cargo insurance, freight forwarding, inland transportation and warehousing to [its] existing customers."

Ms. Compres said, "With all of our abilities, we can do air charters and select charters for ocean freight. We have a division of trucking, where we handle not only trucks for container ports, but trucks for long destinations."

Before the alliance with Crowley, Ms. Compres said, "I needed an army of people behind me to help me do more. You grow and grow to the point" that a large step is needed to move ahead. At that point, she sold her firm to Crowley and now has "the army of people with equipment, know-how and experience, which all comes hand-in-hand. I am excited to see where this goes."

Customized Brokers Inc. has been involved in fresh produce clearance since 1989. The firm's metropolitan Philadelphia office is located in the suburb of Pennsauken, NJ. The California office is in the Los Angeles suburb of Englewood.

Crowley Holdings Inc., a newly formed holding company of the 116-year-old Crowley Maritime Corp., is a privately held family- and employee-owned company that provides diversified transportation and logistics services in domestic and international markets.