Leading The Way.
Year-round access to fresh fruits and vegetables produced around the globe is a relatively recent occurrence. This change in eating habits was made possible by innovators in perishable food transportation like REI's founder, Raymond Wong.
Working in food transport in the late 1970s, Raymond noted that planes bringing Vietnamese refugees to the U.S. returned empty to Hong Kong. Seeing this as an opportunity for his clients, he arranged to ship lettuce and other produce on the return flights, thus pioneering a revolution in the supply of food to the consumer. These early air shipments marked the beginning of an entirely new industry that has changed agriculture over much of the world.
By the time Raymond Express International was established in 1983, our founders had a solid reputation for contributing to their clients' growth by opening new markets with creative shipping solutions. The original San Francisco operation soon grew to include facilities in Los Angeles and Seattle, with a network that now covers the West Coast. The foresight and innovative thinking that distinguished the founding staff remain a hallmark of the transportation specialists at REI today.