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Showing posts with tags Ralph L. Gazitua.

March 16 Newsletter

Posted on March 16th, 2016 at 2:47 pm

USA & Cuba Relations update:


Ahead of Obama's trip to Cuba, new regulations, hotels, and airlines make news


New US policy changes towards Cuba were announced this week, less than a week before President Obama is scheduled to visit Cuba from March 20 to 22, 2016. President Obama will be traveling to Cuba alongside executives from a number of US companies including Marriott and Starwood Hotels who have applied for authorization to operate hotels in Cuba.


On Monday of this week, United Airlines submitted paperwork to operate flights from their US international hubs to Havana's Jose Martí International Airport. The business announcements reflect a rollback of a number of policy restrictions, the 5th such rollback by the Obama administration since December 2014. Some notable new regulations released today include:


  • Cargo vessels and airlines can now make stops in Cuba and continue on their routes without special licensing
  • Educational travel itineraries can be now made for individuals, they no longer need to travel with a group
  • Banking regulations allow for less blocking of funds
  • Cuban citizens can now be hired in the US, making way for entrepreneurs, artists, and athletes
  • Scholarships can now be extended to Cuban citizens

Read more from Bureau of Industry and Security


Read more from the Miami Herald


Read the United Airlines announcement


Attended Festival del Habano XVIII


Ralph L. Gazitua, WTDC President & CEO, traveled to Havana, Cuba, March 3-5 to attend XVIII Festival del Habano. This was Mr. Gazitua's 6th time traveling to Cuba since March 2015 after announcements were made restoring diplomatic relations with the United States. The Habanos Festival is the island's foremost tradeshow for the cigar tobacco industry. Popular themes this year were Cohiba's 50th anniversary celebration and 2016 Limited Edition cigars from Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta.





NAIOP Panel on Cuba's effect on South Florida real estate


At Thursday's NAIOP South Florida Chapter Meeting, WTDC President & CEO Ralph L. Gazitua joined a panel of South Florida professionals to speak about the evolving relations between the United States and Cuba and how the South Florida Real Estate Market may be affected. NAIOP is the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.




Final Reminder:

FTZ Annual Report due

FTZ Operators: The Annual Report is due on March 31 and includes all information from January 1 to December 31 of last year. Reports must be submitted via OFIS.



MiamiHerald: 'Bucking trends, PortMiami had a good year in 2015'


Overall trade with the United States may have fallen, as did numbers at many of the country's biggest ports, but PortMiami showed a 5.75% gain in 2015, equating to an additional $1.37 billion in trade flowing into the Port.


Somewhat surprisingly, medical devices with Costa Rica had the biggest impact on PortMiami's surge in trade. World City's Ken Roberts broke down the numbers in his article published in this week's Business Monday edition of the Miami Herald on March 14: 'Bucking trends, PortMiami had a good year in 2015.'


Click here to read the full article




International Women's Day Photo



On March 8, WTDC recognized the women in our company on International Women's Day. WTDC has three women in manager roles: Vera Gazitua, Accounting Manager, Virginia Diez, Operations and Customer Service Manager, and Castell Chavez, Transportation Manager. Thank you for all you do!

March 16 Newsletter - Read More

Dec. 17 Newsletter

Posted on December 17th, 2015 at 4:24 pm


United States and Cuba to renew commercial flights and mail service


In the last week, two significant strides have been made towards increasing the commercial cooperation between the United States and Cuba: agreements to renew regular mail service and commercial flights between the two countries.


The US State Department announced Thursday that an understanding has been made with the Cuban government to resume commercial flights. Tourist travel to Cuba from the U.S. is still prohibited but the new arrangement would allow for approved travelers to make online bookings, electronic ticketing, and a number of other services familiar to most travelers. Prior to this agreement, only charter flight services were available to and from Cuba, though commercial operators such as JetBlue and American Airlines are already offering chartered flights to Cuba.


As a result of discussions held in Miami on Thursday, December 10, the United States Postal Service and Cuba have agreed upon a pilot program to send mail directly between the two countries several times per week instead of routing it through a third country. Regular mail service and commercial flights between the United States and Cuba had been suspended since the 1960s.




Last week Ralph and Sean Gazitua traveled to Havana, Cuba, their fifth and fourth trips to the island this year respectively, to further explore business opportunities made available through the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. WTDC offers consulting and shipping services to companies interested in sending state approved shipments to Cuba from the United States.


USPS Mail announcement from US Dept of State


CNN article on restoration of commercial flights




A season for giving back: Inaugural Holiday Pajama Drive complete


Today WTDC visited His House Children\'s Home to donate 137 pairs of pajamas to children in need. Thank you to all our customers, tenants, employees, and friends who helped make our Inaugural Holiday Pajama Drive such a success!




(Above, L to R) Vera Gazitua, WTDC Accounting Manager, Castell Chavez, WTDC Transportation Manager, Carolina Osorio, His House Marketing & Donations Coordinator, Ginger Diez, WTDC Operations & Customer Service Manager, and Mickie Irizarry, WTDC Import Desk Customer Service Representative.




Happy Holidays from WTDC



Holiday Hours of Operation

Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 8am-12pm

Christmas Day, Dec.25, Closed

New Year\'s Eve, Dec.31, 8am-12pm

New Year\'s Day, Jan.1, 2016 Closed




Welcoming FIU Intern Alex Zhang


WTDC is pleased to welcome Mr. Alex Zhang to our Internship Program, our 50th Intern to join our program since its inception five years ago.


Mr. Zhang is pursuing a master of science in Engineering Management at Florida International University. His Concentrations are Logistics, Supply Chain Management and Operations Management. Already well versed and certified in SAP, Mr. Zhang recently received a Magaya Software Student Certificate. At WTDC, Mr. Zhang will be doing a technology systems review.




Dec. 17 Newsletter - Read More

Nov. 2 Newsletter: Cuba readies for FIHAV, Duty Free Savings, CSCMP & GMCC Events

Posted on November 2nd, 2015 at 5:14 pm


Cuba readies for la Feria Internacional de La Habana (FIHAV)


From November 2-7, Havana, Cuba, will be host to the country's largest trade fair la Feria Internacional de La Habana (FIHAV). Over 4500 national and foreign exhibitors from 60 countries will be displaying their goods and services at the sprawling Expocuba fairgrounds.


WTDC President & CEO Ralph L. Gazitua and Vice President Sean P. Gazitua will be in attendance to support their clients with interests in the country. This trip to Cuba will be Ralph's fourth visit this year and the third for Sean.




Duty Free and Travel Retail: Where are the biggest savings?


In an article last week, The New York Times broke down the shopping basics for American travelers looking to return to the States with Duty Free and Travel Retail purchases. Liquor and Tobacco purchases can represent a savings for savvy shoppers because of the high duty rates assessed to those products. Americans are allowed up to $800 worth of non-dutiable products upon returning from a foreign country (with some conditions), then the next $1000 of purchases are assessed a flat 3% duty, and any remaining value above $1800 is assessed via the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS).


While the article contains a viewpoint that not all Duty Free purchases can be bargains, the same could be said of any uninformed shopping experience. The article eventually weighs-in with enough factual information to aid the informed traveler and shopper.


WTDC's Foreign Trade Zone is a distribution point for Duty Free and Travel Retail items such as Liquor, Tobacco, Cosmetics, and Electronics.


Click here for the NY Times article on



Join the CSCMP Roundtable on Cuba



CSCMP Roundtable on Cuba


Date/Time: Thursday, November 12th, 2015

 Presentation - 7:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M 


Address: Nova Southeastern University

 Carl DeSantis Building

 3301 College Avenue

 Davie, Florida 33314


Join Ralph L Gazitua, President and CEO of WTDC and Dan Gardner, President of Trade Facilitators, Inc. for an evening's discussion on business opportunities that are emerging in Cuba. During the event, Dan Gardner will provide an update on U.S. trade regulations with Cuba and Ralph Gazitua will share his recent on-the-ground experiences in developing commercial opportunities there.


Register through the website of Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) here





WTDC awards scholarship to

FIU IBHS student


Congratulations to Ms. Sofia Garcia Wolter, FIU '17, recipient of a WTDC scholarship and internship.  Ms. Garcia Wolter is a member of the FIU International Business Honor Society (IBHS) which hosted Mr. Ralph L. Gazitua as a guest speaker on October 20. Mr. Gazitua's presentation about entrepreneurship focused on the principles of family, faith, and health; plus the importance of those factors while pursuing business opportunities.


An essay contest was announced during the presentation with the proceeds going towards the winner's FIU IBHS Service Trip to India and Ms. Garcia Wolter submitted the winning essay. On Oct. 27, Ralph Gazitua, Sean Gazitua, and Sean Powers from WTDC presented a $1000 check to Ms. Garcia Wolter and FIU IBHS Advisor and Professor David Wernick, pictured below.



Sean P. Gazitua, WTDC Vice President, is a proud alumnus of FIU's International Business Program and is now actively involved with the FIU President's Council and the FIU Alumni Association Athletics Subcommittee, pictured here with his father Ralph L. Gazitua, WTDC President and CEO.





A GMCC Event: The Business of Education: Returning Your Investment in the Community


The Business of Education: Returning Your Investment in the Community

Date/Time: Monday, November 9, 2015
  7:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Address: Kovens Conference Center-
  FIU Biscayne Bay Campus
  3000 N.E. 151 Street
  North Miami FL 33181


The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce is hosting an education summit on November 9. WTDC President & CEO Mr. Ralph Gazitua has been invited to participate as a panelist and will be representing the Miami Dade College (MDC) Supply Chain Management Advisory Committee as well as the internship programs of MDC and WTDC.


Click here to Register






Delegation of Colombian university students visits WTDC


Thank you to the great students of Universidad de Boyacá for coming to visit WTDC as part of a program through the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. These students received a presentation on Miami's importance as a logistics hub and the advantages of Foreign Trade Zones from WTDC President & CEO Ralph L. Gazitua.





International Business Seminars hosted by San Ignacio College


San Ignacio College and the Graduate School of the University San Ignacio de Loyola in Peru are organizing a series of international seminars in Miami during the month of November 2015 focused on business opportunities in Chile, Colombia and Peru.



Date: November 16-18

Address: San Ignacio College - Miami

 3905 NW 107th Ave, Suite #301,
  Doral, FL 33178

Click here for additional information



Date: November 18-21

Address: San Ignacio College - Miami

 3905 NW 107th Ave, Suite #301,
 Doral, FL 33178

Click here for additional information



Nov. 2 Newsletter: Cuba readies for FIHAV, Duty Free Savings, CSCMP & GMCC Events - Read More

Oct 2 Newsletter - PortMiami Dredge, Cuba Sanctions update

Posted on October 2nd, 2015 at 12:03 pm


PortMiami completes Deep Dredge


Big Ships Welcome now reads the sign on Biscayne Boulevard leading to PortMiami. On September 18, PortMiami officially announced completion of its main harbor channel dredge from 42 feet to 52 feet deep.


PortMiami is now the only port of call south of Virginia ready to accept the larger Post-Panamax ships. New gantry cranes can now service ships 22 containers wide and reach 11 containers below the ship deck and 9 containers above it. The dredging was the final component of $1 billion of infrastructure upgrades to PortMiami including the PortMiami Tunnel, new gantry cranes, and intermodal improvements.

Read the release from FL Governor Rick Scott here

Read the release from Miami Dade County here






US-Cuba relations update


US Department of the Treasury and Department of Commerce published amendments to further clarify President Obama's 2014 announcement of the easing of Cuba Sanctions, click for release


President Obama briefly met with Cuban President Castro at the United Nations in New York click for article in New York Times


Carnival announces Miami to Cuba cruises for Spring 2016, the humanitarian themed cruise stops in Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba click for article on FoxNews


Miami Archbishop Wenski deems Pope Francis' 'emotional trip' to Cuba a success click for article in Miami Herald



Gazitua family reflects on Papal Pilgrimage to Cuba


WTDC President & CEO Ralph L. Gazitua and Vice President Sean P. Gazitua traveled with their family to Havana, Cuba, as part of the Archdiocese of Miami pilgrimage to see Pope Francis. They visited Iglesia de Jesús de Miramar, as pictured below, and were honored to be among those seated at the Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in Plaza de la Revolución, Havana, Cuba. Click here to see photos from their trip








Exporting from the United States for International Trade Professionals


Date/Time: Thursday, October 8, 2015

Presentation - 9:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M 

Address: Miami Free Zone

2305 N.W. 107TH AVE,
CONFERENCE ROOM 2M10, Miami, FL 33172


Trade with Cuba is a central focus of Becker & Poliakoff's monthly compliance seminar. WTDC's President & CEO Ralph L. Gazitua is part of a great lineup of speakers including Jonathan Barnes, Special Agent for U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security, Jay Brickman, VP Government Services for Crowley Maritime Corp., Jennifer Ahrens, Corporate/Compliance Officer for Robertson Forwarding Company, and Jennifer R. Diaz, Shareholder of Becker & Poliakoff.

Register for the event here




Join the CSCMP Roundtable on Cuba



Date/Time: Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Dinner - 5:45 P.M - 6:45 P.M.   

Presentation - 7:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M 

Address: Nova Southeastern University

Carl DeSantis Building

3301 College Avenue

Davie, Florida 33314


Join Ralph L Gazitua, President and CEO of WTDC and Dan Gardner, President of Trade Facilitators, Inc. for an evening's discussion on the fantastic business opportunities that are emerging in Cuba. During the event, Dan Gardner will provide an update on U.S. trade regulations with Cuba and Ralph Gazitua will share his recent on-the-ground experiences in developing commercial opportunities there.


Points to be covered during this one-of-a-kind panel discussion include: Benefits from the trade policy changes Export license exceptions Current opportunities between Cuba and the U.S. The future of business relations for the U.S. and Cuba.


Register through the website of Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) here



Oct 2 Newsletter - PortMiami Dredge, Cuba Sanctions update - Read More