US ports team up with logistics firms to attract South American fruit
Ports in the US are collaborating with cargo owners and logistics providers to attract higher volumes of fruit imports from South America. The ports of Charleston, Savannah and Virginia wish to exploit their refrigerated handling capacities and increase their market shares now that they have clearance from the Department of Agriculture. Previously, perishables were sent to Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey to ensure the temperatures necessary to prevent contamination. However, in 2015, the USDA launched a Southeast In-Transit Cold Treatment pilot programme to allow Latin American fruits to be imported into the Southeast, with containers kept at a temperature slightly above freezing during the two-week refrigeration process. This scheme has also eliminated the multi-day road haulage trips. The port of Charleston has the capacity to handle over 1,700 containers at its Wando Welch and North Charleston terminals. Lineage Logistics, Agro Merchants and New Orleans Cold Storage all have blast freeze facilities at the port.