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In 1982, three talented logistics professionals were working for family operated Customs Brokerage and forwarding companies in New England. They loved the business and had developed close relationships with both their clients and their vendors. They wanted to create something special. A place where they could continue to work with the people they had come to know and trust. A place where people could feel they are part of the business. A place where hard working young people would have an opportunity to grow and advance irrespective of their last name or their background.

In October of 1982, Charles (“Chuck”) J. Cannon, Nicholas (“Nick”) J. Cioe and Kenneth (“Ken”) J. Charnley officially opened Liberty International, Inc. with offices in Providence, RI and East Boston, MA. They decided that their common middle initial was good luck, Nick’s young son, Scott, created the original company logo, Chuck’s mother needle pointed the company’s plaque for the lobby and they were on their way.

Chuck, Nick and Ken set about hiring their staff and their former clients followed them in droves. Liberty’s original staff included Bobby Giglio, a messenger at Nick and Ken’s former company, who followed them despite the guys being unable to afford to pay Bobby when they first opened their business. Nobody was better at expediting Customs releases than Bobby. Doreen Conti followed soon after as Liberty’s Accounting and Human Resources Manager, a division at Liberty she still manages today.

Central to Liberty’s success, however, would be our ability to move our clients’ freight from overseas. Nick Cioe boarded an airplane and flew around the world doing his best to convince the origin forwarders he knew to follow him to Liberty. And they did. All around the world, his old friends at companies like Dimerco Express, Tiger Air Freight and Savitransport gave Liberty and our clients their commitment. Those companies, those team members that manage our clients’ supply chains are still our friends and business partners today, still supporting Liberty and our clients with extraordinary service. A mutual commitment to reliable, competitively priced consolidations has served as the foundation of our partnerships and has allowed these relationships to survive decades of shared opportunities and challenges.

Nick’s first trip was the birth of Liberty’s consolidation program. Through Chuck, Nick and Ken’s commitment to the local trade community, Liberty built the only direct Providence air freight consolidation and with a little more than 2 cubic meters of freight, built the first ocean consolidation to the Port of Providence. Through decades of innovation, Nick’s contagious enthusiasm for new consolidation ventures and with the support of our partners around the world, Liberty grew our air and ocean consolidation program to the independently operated, national success it is today, always remembering our commitment to the trade community at home, here in New England.

That independence is the soul of Liberty. We give you the Power of Choice. The power to choose services that work for you and the power to choose service providers based on price and performance and not on Liberty’s own equity interest in the ventures it’s selling.

Throughout the next three decades, Liberty continued to enjoy success and today, the next generation of Liberty team members continues the vision and the mission that Chuck, Nick and Ken began decades ago. Many of us began working for Liberty in the early days when the size of Liberty’s Boston office required one person to stand up to let the other leave, when we could touch the person sitting at the next desk in our Providence office because we were growing faster than our office could expand. Those Devoted Dozen (Liberty staff members with more than 12 years with the company) live the brand promise that Chuck, Nick and Ken brought to life back in 1982. Do whatever it takes to get the best possible result for our clients and our team. Focus on the customer and the rest will work out. Don’t sit back – customize and innovate. Always find a way to solve a problem, to stay on the cutting edge. Work with clients to customize solutions to their needs. Hire and mentor new team members that share our vision and mission. And most importantly, always remember the people behind our business.

Our people are at the center of Liberty’s success. Liberty is always there to support its team, celebrating our personal victories together and offering a helping hand in times of need. Our people are always there to support our clients and our community, day and night, 365 days a year.

Client-focused innovation is at the center of Liberty’s growth. We were the first ABI certified broker in RI and one of the first brokers to join the C-TPAT program. Chuck, Nick and Ken opened our International Delivery Service trucking and warehousing division because they knew their clients needed same day delivery service for air freight. They understood the high cost of air freight and the sense of urgency our clients had in delivering to their retail customers sometimes on the same day that we delivered goods to them. Liberty brought air and ocean consolidation to its customers in Rhode Island because we sensed a need for faster, more reliable transits. And our team continues build on their great work and their innovation today.

Giving back to the community that made us a success is at the center of Liberty’s enduring brand. Liberty staff members have served on the boards of directors and executive committees of several local and national trade organizations and we helped found the Coalition of New England Companies for Trade with a shared vision for free and fair trade in New England. We are active in government affairs at both the local and national level, advocating for our clients’ businesses. Our current Chief Operating Officer serves as a member of COAC, the national 20 member committee that advises the Departments of the Treasury and Homeland Security on Customs and other government agency policy. Our team enthusiastically supports organizations like Children’s Family Services, the RI Food Bank and Abby’s House with both time and fund raising efforts. Liberty generously allows us to share our time with the community, a commitment that pays enormous dividends to our clients, our vendors and our team as a whole.

Our business isn’t about one company servicing another company. It’s about people making connections. It’s about our team getting to know the people we work with – inside and outside of Liberty. It’s about taking a stake in our client’s business and making sure they are successful.

Our team is your team.


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Original logo design by Nick Cioe’s son, Scott
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