Two Immigrants Struggle for Houston Success

Partners from Central America Celebrate 25-Year Cargo Business

Houston, TX, January 07, 2010 --( When Rod Ulloa, a native Costa Rican, and Joe Torres from Honduras met in New Orleans in the late 1960s, they never dreamed that one day they would become life-long business partners. Even less predictable was that their prosperous international import and export business, Cargo Import Brokers, Inc., would be located in Houston, Texas.

In those days, the booming Port of New Orleans was the center of action in the Gulf Coast shipping business. The Port of Houston had not yet emerged as a serious contender, much less the powerhouse it is today.

Later, both Rod and Joe found their way to Houston and acquired fairly good jobs in the shipping industry. Rod was a licensed customs broker for a large global transport and logistics company. Joe worked for another major shipping company as an international freight forwarder. Yet, each had a burning desire to achieve more. After all, each had immigrated to United States and become citizens to satisfy an entrepreneurial dream that would never be realized working for someone else.

So in 1985, with few assets, but a willingness to do whatever it took to be a success, the two partners embarked on adventure that at times seemed like a wild roller coaster ride. Over the last 25 years, CIB has handled just about every conceivable cargo, including space shuttle parts for a NASA joint venture, giant offshore oil rigs, and even highly perishable Chilean sea bass. Recently, they aided the US government by clearing the seized assets of Stanford Financial Group from the Caribbean island of Antigua.

At first, there were actually three partners. “We had this business associate who seemed to know a great deal about business start-ups,” Joe remembers. “He knew all the angles and already had lined up several customers, so we rolled the dice.”

At first, it appeared the gamble had paid off. The team got off to a remarkable start with business growing at an incredible rate. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before Rod and Joe had a falling out with their senior partner. “It was nothing really bad, we just had some irreconcilable business differences,” recalls Rod. “Sooner or later there was bound to be a break up.”

In a flash, Rod and Joe were almost back to square one. But now free to do things their own way, they were even more determined to build a rock solid business. The next decade meant long hours, knocking on doors and a constant struggle to stay ahead of the competition. Around the mid 1990s, all their hard work started to reap sizable dividends. Soon they were getting customer referrals and bigger accounts. They have never looked back.

With a 25-year proven track record, a first rate facility and top-notch staff, CIB has little to worry about in the way of competition. As Rod likes to say, “We found our niche and we stick to it -- no one is better at what we do.”

Nowadays, most of CIB’s business is from long-term customers and referrals. “Even in the current recession, business is still quite good,” says Joe Torres. Of course, Rod and Joe are not ones to rest on their laurels. CIB has launched a new Web site: The site offers customers and potential customers valuable information on the latest US Customs requirements. Although events such as 911 have placed tremendous demands on their industry, CIB is ready to tackle the future.

Cargo Import Brokers, Inc. (CIB) is a licensed, full service customhouse broker, based in Houston, Texas, USA. CIB is a customs brokerage company and international freight forwarder that services both importers and exporters.


If you’d like more information on the 25th anniversary of Cargo Import Brokers, Inc., or want to schedule an interview with Rod Ulloa and Joe Torres, please call Ken Hudson at 832-527-5311 or e-mail Higher resolution photos are available upon request. Also, see CIB Web site:
Cargo Import Brokers, Inc.
Ken Hudson
Press Release: Small Business Profile - Import & Export

Press Release: Small Business Profile - Import & Export

Two Immigrants Struggle For Houston Success - Partners from Central America Celebrate 25-Year Cargo Business