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Posted on: September 21, 2020

Smooth Sailing for Foreign Trade

Merchants Market warehouse photo

   Cargo yard

Port of Palm Beach Foreign Trade Zone #135 was created to help international commerce flow smoothly, The companies involved in the trade zone save both money and time.  The process of becoming a member is now easier than ever for interested importers and exporters located within Foreign Trade Zone #135.

The purpose of the creation of a foreign trade zone in Palm Beach County was to provide an excellent economic development tool that can be used to retain existing industries, attract new industries, and provide assistance to many local companies who are involved in import and export of goods; and the establishment of a Foreign Trade Zone is deemed most preferable for Palm Beach County in that it allowing many communities in the region to participate in and benefit from it.

FTZ #135 is comprised of the following counties:

Palm Beach County

Martin County

St Lucie County (partial)

FTZ Service Map

Benefits and successes

A company operating within an FTZ or Sub-Zone enjoys many cost saving benefits. These savings can arise from different sources, protection from inverted tariffs, cash flow control, damaged items can be destroyed with no duty or imported at a lower value. Additionally, there is no duty on value added and re-exports. Other positive benefits are better inventory control, exemption from quotas, possible lower insurance premiums due to the fact a zone requires a high degree of security. The company may label goods that are manufactured or assembled in the zone "MADE IN THE USA". The economy benefits from job creation. A Foreign Trade Zone is truly a positive force in trade and economic development.

Craig Knowles, Merchants Export President

“FTZ#135 provides us with the ability to source from global entities and redistribute these products through the foreign-trade zone without being subject to import tariffs and ad valorem taxes. This has been a valuable tool that has allowed our business to grow and be competitive in the global economy,” said Craig Knowles, General Manager of Merchants Export.

Companies are already experiencing the advantages of zone participation. One Port tenant that has benefited from the foreign trade zone is Merchants Market Group, the parent company of Merchants Export. The company has been an FTZ member since 1997.

Merchants Market warehouse photo

The company is a broadline food distributor that services the entire Caribbean. The company has the ability to service both the retail and wholesale market segments with their product portfolio of over 10,000 items. These products range from fresh produce and dairy, frozen proteins, seafood, frozen goods, disposables and cleaning supplies.    

Look inside Merchants Exports warehouse

Merchants Export operates a 100,000 square-foot refrigerated warehouse located at the Port of Palm Beach. The warehouse includes multiple temperature zones to ensure all food is safe and kept to the company’s highest quality standards.

As members of the FTZ #135, the company can provide all bonded warehouse services. Merchants Export ships approximately 60 containers of food and produce weekly from the Port of Palm Beach.


For more information on Merchants Export visit the company’s website at

You can view the FTZ #135 charges, rates, rules and regulations on our website:


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