Benin

BENIN

Burkina Faso

BURKINA FASO

Burundi

BURUNDI

Button for Cameroon

CAMEROON

Central African Republic

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Button for Chad

CHAD

Democratic Republic of the Congo

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

Republic of Congo

REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Equatorial Guinea

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Gabon

GABON

Ghana

GHANA

Guinea

REPUBLIC OF GUINEA

Guinea-Bissau

GUINEA-BISSAU

Ivory Coast

IVORY COAST

Liberia

LIBERIA

Libya

LIBYA

 

Madagascar

MADAGASCAR

Mali

MALI

Niger

NIGER

NIGERIA

Senegal

SENEGAL

Sierra Leone

SIERRA LEONE

South Sudan

SOUTH SUDAN

Togo

TOGO

“In the shipping business, every problem in the world can be thrown at you… you better be able to handle it.” 

-Burnell Russell Co-Founder of AfricaCTN

Overcoming problems made Burnell Russell a trusted name in the shipping business during the 1970’s.  “Where I grew up, in Galveston Texas, if you didn’t want to starve you got a job either on the waterfront, in the tourist industry or the medical field.  I’ve always had a passion for every aspect of the shipping business, so I decided to go to work for a shipping agent.”

Burnell spent many years paying his dues and learning all the “ins and outs” of what would become a lifelong endeavor.

“I remember a lot of sleepless nights in those early days,” Russell commented. “I remember having less than 2 days off for an entire year at one point.  There was just always something that needed to be done, and ships don’t take weekends or holidays off, so I had to be available all the time, it was my job.”

Burnell’s hard work paid off when he was hired by Transamerican Shipping Company to start up and run their Houston office.  From there Burnell eventually formed his own Agency, Oceans International and continued to build his reputation.

“I got a call out of the blue from a Gentleman in New Orleans,” Russell said. “He owned “Shipping Services” which had a lot of Liner business.  He was looking to sell his business to someone who would take good care of his customers.  He didn’t know me but had heard of my reputation, so I was the first one he called.”

After acquiring “Shipping Services”, Russell continued to grow the business when he briefly acquired the 100-year-old “Smith & Kelly” Company.  At one point Russell had over 50 people working in his Houston offices and another 70 on the East Coast.

In 1997, after a long career, Burnell attempted to retire and sold the business.  But retirement would have to wait when in 2004 Burnell received another phone call that would once again propel him back into the world of shipping.

“A longtime friend from France called me up and asked for my help. He needed American representation for his ECTN business that was growing in DR Congo. After much debate I agreed to “un-retire” and I formed Commercial International Services (CIS).”

CIS would continue to grow and when it picked up Nigeria to meet their ECTN needs, Burnell’s son Chris stepped in to help.

“Chris coming on board brought us to a whole new level.” Burnell said. “He automated much of what I had been doing by hand which allowed us to grow even more.  Since then Chris has taken more and more responsibilities at the company, allowing me to go back to semi-retired status”, Burnell joked.

In January of 2019 Commercial International Services merged with Maritrade USA to form AfricaCTN.  With a focus on customer service and professionalism, the combined resources of these two companies allows AfricaCTN to now service all African countries as it continues its leadership role as the best provider of ECTN’s in the world.

Commercial International Services and MaritradeUSA merge to form AfricaCTN

HOUSTON (Dec. 4, 2018) – Companies looking to ship goods to the continent of Africa can find complete Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) services in one convenient location beginning January 1, 2019, with AfricaCTN LLC. The new joint venture combines the breadth and experience of two experienced CTN corporations, Commercial International Services (CIS) and MaritradeUSA.

More than a decade ago, CIS became one of the first USA-based companies offering complete CTN services to all African countries requiring CTNs. This conglomeration with MaritradeUSA is the next logical step in providing both company’s clients with secure, timely service to 22 African nations.

Since its inception, CIS has become a trusted industry leader. Now, with more African Countries than ever before requiring CTNs, both CIS and MaritradeUSA are answering the call to streamline the confusing and time-consuming process shippers and freight forwarders face when looking to get goods into Africa by combining into AfricaCTN.

As a result of this new merger, AfricaCTN will take the best attributes of both companies and become the premier provider of CTNs to Africa, thereby saving all current and future clients time and money. Beginning in the New Year, AfricaCTN will immediately have the ability to handle all African countries from load ports around the world.

AfricaCTN has short-term plans to unveil a state-of-the-art website — AfricaCTN.com (launching January 1, 2019) — that will provide up-to-date information and pricing to make CTN ordering more efficient. AfricaCTN will be based in Houston with an experienced staff offering the same high-quality services that both CIS and MaritradeUSA have provided through the years.

Existing clients of CIS and MaritradeUSA will experience a smooth transition to AfricaCTN with no interruption in services.

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