New Entrant Shakes Up Bahama's Marine Logistics Sector
It's easy to be the incumbent in a small industry, but an up-and-coming young company has to work to earn its keep. That can be an advantage for customers, as Bahamas-based Fowlco Marine and Logistics Management aims to prove.
Fowlco provides comprehensive logistics services for the marine, industrial and construction sectors, and it has grown from $100,000 in revenue to more than $3.5 million in just eight years in operation. It is located on Grand Bahama, about four miles from Grand Bahama Shipyard, and much of its business serves shipyard contractors and cruise industry projects.
Fowlco provides a full range of 3PL services, including freight forwarding, customs clearance, warehousing and trucking, all geared for large project work. According to president and CEO Glennett Fowler, a typical job for a cruise ship drydocking might involve importing 250 containers, clearing them through customs, storing them at Fowlco's site and then transporting them to the shipyard on demand as the work proceeds. For smaller, more urgent shipments, Fowlco has just launched a new air cargo service with daily flights to and from Fort Lauderdale; for high-and-heavy cargo, the company works with international logistics company Blue Water Shipping to arrange carriage for even the biggest loads.
Fowlco also offers a range of services that are outside of the usual realm of logistics. Its bonded warehouse has enough space for contractors to carry out pre-assembly and processing work, giving them extra room away from the busy piers of the shipyard. As an example, Fowlco has helped lifeboat service contractors carry out lifeboat refurbishments for cruise ships. Instead of trying to find space to work on the quay, the contractors truck the boats to Fowlco's remote work site, where they have plenty of space - and duty-free status. Since Fowlco's facility is in a duty free zone, some of the goods and materials for the work that goes on within it can be brought into the Bahamas duty-free. For vessel operators, Fowlco also offers ships' agency services, like bunkering and provisioning.
Logistics team working in the Fowlco container yard
Lifeboats lashed and secured for transport to Fowlco's facility
According to Glennett Fowler, Fowlco has expanded thanks to its demonstrated commitment to excellence and exceeding customers' expectations. As an up-and-coming female executive, Fowler knows well that breaking into the maritime industry requires hard work and diligence - attributes that benefit not just her and her company, but her clients as well.
"Four years ago, we started to really expand the company, and I left my position as an HR executive and educated myself in supply chain management and logistics in order to help Fowlco grow," Fowler says. "I took over as CEO late last year, and I can say that I'm proud to lead the strongest logistics team on Grand Bahama."
Fowlco also has the youngest logistics team on the island - most of the staff are under 45, including Fowler herself - and the firm is breaking the mold for a maritime company in the Bahamas. "It's been challenging gaining acceptance as a young, female-led company, and we have to execute at a higher level than the competition," Fowler says. "We have achieved that, and the growth of our company has been phenomenal. Our aim is to be the leader in logistics services in the Bahamas within three years."
With a talented staff and a full suite of customized logistics services, Fowlco is well positioned to move ahead in the booming Caribbean cruise business. "While profits afford growth and ongoing expansion, at Fowlco, we find equal satisfaction in the extensive training of our team members," says Fowler. "We take pride in seeing talented and highly qualified Bahamians shine on the world stage. We have fully embraced our connection to a competitive global market."
This post is sponsored by Fowlco Marine and Logistics Management. For more information on Fowlco's customized logistics solutions for the Bahamas, please visit https://fowlcoltd.com/.
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.