Refrigeratedtransporter 1574 Savannah Gets Citrus Peru Pic

Port of Savannah receives cold-treated citrus from Peru

Oct. 20, 2015
The first containers of imported produce to undergo cold treatment have arrived at the Port of Savannah GA, carrying tangelos from Peru.

The first containers of imported produce to undergo cold treatment have arrived at the Port of Savannah GA, carrying tangelos from Peru.

“The Georgia Ports Authority is a new, valuable option to reach the US Southeast for perishable goods,” said Curtis Foltz, GPA executive director. “By moving perishable cargo through the Port of Savannah, you can reach customers faster, save on transit costs, and take advantage of unmatched assets such as on-site inspection and the nation’s most comprehensive refrigerated cargo infrastructure.”

Matt Jardina of J J Jardina, the Atlanta GA-based company that received the tangelos, also stressed the savings in time and freight costs.

The Port of Savannah is now receiving cold-treated citrus fruits from Peru, such as these tangelos grown by Andean Sun Produce. Photo courtesy of Andean Sun Produce

“It makes a lot of sense to use the Savannah port. It was nice to have only a four-hour truck ride to Atlanta versus a day and half from the Philadelphia ports,” said Jardina, a wholesale produce distributor. “It allowed us to get the product in our warehouse more quickly and begin selling the product a few days earlier.”

The tangelos, moved from Andean Sun Produce farms in Ica, Peru, are part of a US Department of Agriculture pilot program, in which citrus, grapes, and blueberries are chilled for at least 17 days before entry into the United States to protect against fruit flies. Removing potential pests via cold treatment reduces the need for pesticides.

The process may be done in producing nations—including Peru, Chile, and Brazil—or at transshipment points such as Panama. The fruit will move in refrigerated containers held just over freezing during transit aboard cargo vessels, effectively cutting the time fruit must remain stationary for treatment.

Jardina said reducing transit time by bringing produce in through Savannah improves quality and freshness.

“If you are dealing with a commodity that has a short shelf life, then it’s certainly better to have a couple of extra days to get the product in your customers’ hands,” he said. “This will optimize the freshness of the product all the way to the consumer. “

Savannah’s Garden City Terminal offers 84 refrigerated container racks and 733 chassis plug-ins, powering 2,749 refrigerated boxes at a time. Another 20 racks should be complete by the end of 2015, adding 480 refrigerated container slots.

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