BEST Shipping came about as the result of 13 yearsâ success under the Bermuda Export Sea Transfer Ltd. banner. Before that, principals David Sousa and Judith Hagen were respectively employed in the cargo departments of British Airways and Eastern Airlines.

Since the former firm was cutting back and the latter was going bankrupt, it was the perfect time for the two to combine their air-freight experience by forming their own company.

They established their business in 1987, in conjunction, initially, with an overseas partner knowledgeable in the area of sea-freight.

ãIt was an opportunity· that I thought we should take a chance. If it didnât work out, so be it,ä Ms. Hagen said.

Their staff is now totally Bermudian. In addition to President David Sousa and Vice President Judith Hagen, thereâs Senior Customs Agent Alynn Crockwell whoâs been with the firm 10 years; Customs Clearance Clerk Christina Trott (two years); small delivery and dock trouble-shooting supervisor Stephen Roberts (two years) and Steven Sousa, whoâs in charge of exports (nine months).

Said Ms. Hagen: ãEven though weâre all separate, there are connections· Alynnâs aunt used to work with Judy at the airport· Christina went to school with Alynn· I worked with [Stephenâs] mother at Eastern· [and Davidâs brother] Stevenâs just come back [after eight years in the US].ä

Given the Îfamilyâsâ on-going efforts to provide the best service, their consequent success at this and their recent relocation to an improved, out-of-town facility on Addendum Lane South, theyâve decided on a new identity.

As Ms. Hagen explained: ãWe pride ourselves on saying weâre the best, which is why weâre changing our name to BEST Shipping.ä