Container Shipping From Trinidad And Tobago

The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a dual-island nation located just seven miles off the coast of Venezuela in the Southern Caribbean. Aside from Venezuela, it also shares maritime borders with Guyana and Barbados. Its name comes from the two major islands present in the country, with Tobago – the smaller of both islands, lying about 20 miles northeast of Trinidad.


Trinidad and Tobago’s third-largest city and capital, Port of Spain, is located northwest of the nation on the Gulf of Paria. Port of Spain has been the capital and major administrative district since 1757. Along with being the nation’s chief port, the city’s landmarks display its rich history and cultural heritage.


The economy of Trinidad and Tobago is ranked the third wealthiest nation in the Caribbean and the fifth most affluent in the Americas based on GDP per capita. As of 2020, the dual-island nation’s nominal GDP stood at US$22.72 billion, a 1.5% GDP growth from the previous year.


Trinidad and Tobago is heavily reliant on petroleum resources. To date, petroleum and natural gas continue to make the most substantial contribution to the nation’s economy, and all projected growth is fueled by the nation’s investment in liquefied natural gas and petrochemicals.

Aerial view of city of Port of Spain, the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago. Skyscrapers of the downtown and a busy sea port with commercial docks and passenger catamarans.

Trinidad And Tobago’s Biggest Exports

Based on 2020 statistics from the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), the value of Trinidad and Tobago’s total exports was $6.3 billion. The nation enjoys a high level of free trade, which is very important to its economy, evidenced in its 2016 trade-to-GDP ratio of 99%. Impressively, the island also has a positive trade balance.


Trinidad and Tobago’s leading trade partner is the United States which takes about 52% of the nation’s exports. Other significant trading partners include China, Spain, the Netherlands, Peru, Brazil, and Guyana. The dual-island country has also been a member of the World Trade Organization since 1995, meaning there are few non-tariff barriers regarding exports. However, customs duties tend to be pretty high.


As the most significant Caribbean producer of natural gas and second largest producer of oil, petroleum products make up 80% of Trinidad and Tobago’s exports. Ammonia, alcohols, iron, fertilizers, and steel make up other export products. However, with new national policies, the government seeks to reduce the country’s dependence on petroleum and make it a manufacturing and financial hub in the Caribbean and the Americas.


Below is a rundown of the nation’s top exports, showing how much they contribute to the total annual exports.


  • Mineral fuels, including oil: $2.3 billion (27.3% of total exports)
  • Inorganic chemicals: $1.7 billion (19.9%)
  • Organic chemicals: $1.6 billion (18.3%)
  • Iron and steel: $845.1 million (9.8%)
  • Fertilizers: $745.6 million (8.7%)
  • Vessels such as ships and boats: $271.9 million (3.2%)
  • Machinery, including computers: $124.1 million (1.4%)
  • Beverages, spirits, and vinegar: $109.2 million (1.3%)
  • Cereal and dairy products: $95.1 million (1.1%)
  • Miscellaneous food preparations: $71.4 million (0.8%)

Freight Forwarding And Container Shipping Process From Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago’s primary customs authority is the Customs and Excise Division, tasked with collecting revenue, enforcing correct applications, facilitating legitimate trade, protecting physical borders, and compiling accurate trade-related data.


According to this division, individual shippers exporting commercial goods must hire a customs broker to complete all required documentation. These documents include a customs declaration form (C82 Form), an invoice showing the price paid locally, an export license – for items on the consolidated list of licensable exports, and a certificate of origin for items not manufactured locally.


Typically, goods should be cleared after documents are submitted to customs authorities, and relevant dues are paid. However, bureaucratic inefficiency and periodic rigidity in interpreting and enforcing regulations often extend the clearance process. For shippers to avoid delay, it’s best to engage a freight forwarder to serve as both a custom broker and an intermediary for the exporter. Container shipping documents may also be sent for clearance online and in time to avoid delays.

Ship From Trinidad and Tobago With Total Connection

Trinidad and Tobago’s industrialized trade economy, geographical proximity to numerous shipping lines, and well-developed port infrastructure make it the perfect location to set up a logistics service in Southern Caribbean. As such, Total Connection serves as your logistics solution for all exports from Trinidad and Tobago to other locations worldwide.


We offer Full-Container load (FCL) shipping and Less-Container load (LCL) shipping options from Trinidad and Tobago. We are committed to providing reliable and flexible transportation globally at very competitive rates. We understand how complex shipping freight can be and recognize the importance of a competent freight forwarding company that realizes the culture, language, and customs regulations. Thus, we come with experience and a rich network through which we provide a wide range of container shipping from Trinidad and Tobago.


You can choose from our range of services depending on your requirements. Aside from container shipping solutions, we also offer specialized services for different kinds of cargo, including project cargo. Contact us today.



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