Miami-based Amerijet is moving some back-office functions to Trinidad and Tobago to save money and make it easier to fill positions.
The cargo airline announced Thursday that it had opened a new branch office in Port of Spain to handle financial and other management functions. The company has conducted air cargo operations at Piarco International Airport for 22 years, but the new office won’t be involved in sales or flights. Subsidiary Amerijet Caribbean Express provides cargo handling services for the freighters at the airport.
The shared services center has room for 54 employees covering seven departments, plus management offices.
Amerijet said in response to a FreightWaves query that the decision to relocate offshore was made because it is difficult to hire qualified employees in South Florida.
“Wage inflation and rising costs of living across South Florida make it very difficult and expensive to recruit experienced employees here in Miami,” the company said. Accounting, auditing and potentially other functions will be shifted to Trinidad and Tobago.
Port of Spain was chosen for the new office because the country’s proximity to the U.S., common language and close time zone simplify communication and collaboration with headquarters’ staff and because the government recently passed legislation to encourage foreign direct investment, management said.
Many U.S. airlines and freight forwarders operate similar centers outside the country.
Amerijet has rapidly expanded during the past three years beyond its original Caribbean and Latin America service area and now boasts a fleet of 23 Boeing 767 and 757 freighters. It serves Trinidad with a minimum of four flights per week.
The move to streamline processes follows last month’s decision, first reported by FreightWaves, to dismantle Amerijet’s freight forwarding unit, iTN Worldwide, because it wasn’t a key revenue driver.
Airlines across the board are scrutinizing operations to save money during a period of weak demand.
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