Colon Import & Export was founded in 1912 on the Caribbean coast of Panama, about three years before the opening of the Panama Canal.
The main objective of the Cia. was trade with the indigenous communities of Kuna Yala in the archipelago of San Blas.
The main activity was the barter trade of products from Europe such as fabrics, threads, lamps, stoves, utensils, etc.. in exchange tortoiseshell, balata, Ipecac and coconuts.
These raw materials were shipped to Europe for processing.
The Second World War had a dramatic impact on this trade, which meant a complete change of business activities. The Company opened a hardware store in Columbus turned out to be a very successful operation. This business continued to prosper during the war. After the close of hostilities, a group of businessmen from the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, including our director Mr. Herbert Toledano approached the president of Panama, Enrique Jimenez, and he raised the idea of a “Free Zone” to the Colon Chamber of Commerce and in 1948 sanctioned the law giving the Colon Free Zone started its operations.
Colon Import & Export was one of the first companies to do business in this area. The business became a liquor distributor, equipment, hardware, paints and chemicals for ships and stores in the Canal Zone.
In 1959 a new expansion came when he joined the provision of storage services for the Company Geigy. Then settled contracts with other companies to provide these services. In 1979, the Company moved to its new location in the Free Zone France Field, the second company to settle in this new area for expansion of the area. His current facilities cover 65,000 square meters of office and storage areas. This space serves as a warehouse for pharmaceuticals, electronics, chemicals, agrochemicals, liquor and values. It has installed technology in conjunction with fire protection systems to meet international standards.
The business continued to expand to meet the demands of global markets, by starting an operation in Miami since 1985 to cover the Caribbean market and in Uruguay in 1995 to serve South American markets.
The latest facilities are at MIT Logistics Park, built to the highest standards of the United States to serve the growing customer base who see the Colon Free Zone the opportunity to serve their markets from a strategic position in the American hemisphere .
Strategic alliances have been made under the registered name of Logistic Services with DHL Global Forwarding, DHL Express and DHL Supply Chain, the largest logistics as it is worldwide. Today the company has over 300 employees, most from the province of Colon.
With the opening of markets and the increasing competitiveness in the Logistics Sector, CIE keeps innovating in all Processes, Infrastructure, Information Systems and Communication, Technology and trained personnel to provide its current and future customers a logistics service quality at a very competitive price.