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The Christening of the New Tropic Express (2011)

(Contracted by SDUSA)

On Monday, August 15th, Tropical Shipping celebrated the christening and launch of the new Tropic Express, a 348-foot-long vessel that has been deployed in the Bahamas trade.

"We are very excited about the christening of our newest vessel," said Mike Pellicci, president of Tropical Shipping. "Launching the Tropic Express is a proud moment for us. It demonstrates that even in today's tough economic climate, Tropical will continue to move forward and to invest in our business, with the goal of finding new and more efficient ways to better serve our customers."

The new ship was officially launched before a gathering of several hundred invited guests, customers and Tropical employees at the Port of Palm Beach. Tropical's most tenured female employee, Janet Carey, was named the Godmother and had the honor of christening the state-of-the-art vessel, the fifteenth ship in Tropical's fleet.

The Tropic Express is a 368 TEU shallow draft container vessel that transports both dry and refrigerated containers, between Florida and The Bahamas, with a service speed of 12.5 knots. Roughly the size of a football field, the vessel is equipped with two 45 ton cranes and a ramp that facilitates the transport of out of gauge, oversized and heavy cargo, typically used in construction projects.

The $14-million Tropic Express was built by CSC Chongqing Dongfeng Shipbuilding Corporation, one of the world's largest shipbuilders. In December 2008, Tropical Shipping contracted with the shipbuilder to have the vessel built. Launched in the Yangtze River in December 2010, the Tropic Express was delivered in June to the Port of Palm Beach for the August christening.

When the ship arrived it carried 225 new refrigerated containers, bringing the total number of containers in the Tropical fleet to well over 11,000 units.

"For almost a half century now, Tropical Shipping has kept a steady eye on the needs of our customers," Pellicci said. "Everything we do, from streamlining operations, to expanding capabilities and now launching a new vessel, has been to improve our service levels for the benefit of our customers. Tropical is committed to improving our services through innovation and investments in order to remain a leading and extremely reliable ocean-freight shipping service to The Bahamas and Caribbean."

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