Last we reported that Pharmachem in Freeport was laying off some 40 people. This week, the company confirmed that the number is 32, due to delays in their construction at the plant expansion, there is nothing for the workers to do so the company has no choice but lay off people. That of course does not help Grand Bahama’s situation. Then came the news that a well-known courier company is closing its doors claiming that the hassles by the Customs Department is the last straw. They just can’t take it anymore. The company’s owners wrote a farewell letter to their customers:
To The Loyal Customers of GB Express Ltd.
22 years ago I put together a plan to legalize the courier business in Freeport. I joined forces with Jay, and along with the energy and marketing skills of Sherry, together we made GBX the premier courier of Freeport. Not only did we provide courier services to the individual citizens of Freeport, but we also worked tirelessly to meet the air cargo needs of the vast majority of local businesses.
The times have changed, especially the Customs Laws, and their application at Air Freight has made it impractical to operate an air courier service. Since we are not set up to operate through the harbor, I am left with two options – shut down the air service and start sea service or close down GB Express Ltd.
The cost of meeting the demands of Customs has priced the product beyond the reach of the Bahamian Citizen and GB cannot continue absorbing this cost. With Customs’ direction in the future it is only going to be more difficult to operate in Freeport, therefore I feel the best business decision I can make is to close the doors.
I realize most of you are from the business side of our customer list, which means some of the issues mentioned above do not apply, but in this small community it takes both the Courier company and Air Cargo together to sustain our livelihood – something the Government has never accepted in Freeport . I realize our expected daily flights have not been operating on a daily basis. This is due to the fact that our filler (individual) courier shipments have not been sufficient to make the daily flights possible.
I know that some of you have known this day was coming but that does not make it any easier, nor does it relieve the pain, knowing that I now have to tell our valuable customers that the time has come for you to find another Courier to serve your needs.
I know everyone has given their all – especially Pat – to keep GB alive during these difficult times, but even with all of her efforts GB is still losing gross amounts of money at the airport on the Courier side.
With the changes at Air Freight via Bahamas Customs over the past few years, it has become impractical and virtually impossible to operate a daily courier service at the airport.
So with all this being said: GB will be closing July 31, 2019.
You, the Customer, will always be in our hearts and our relations over the years will never be forgotten.
YOU WILL BE MISSED FROM OUR DAILY LIVES.
Should some of you be considering options going forward, it is my personal opinion that the Courier with the best structure to handle Commercial shipments, as well as serve the community, is Charlie at Island Air Freight.
Pat and I will be at our Yellow Pine office during the month of August clearing out shipments and collecting outstanding invoices.
Thank you all for the wonderful memories!!!!
Bob, Jay, Sherry and Pat