Mission Produce has begun shipping avocados to the U.S. Southeast from its facility in Peru via the Port of Savannah. Find print quality images HERE. (Photo courtesy Mission Produce)
Mission Produce touts GPA customer service
Savannah, GA — The Port of Savannah has added Peruvian avocados to its expanding portfolio of perishable goods.
"Importing avocados through Savannah was a first for Mission Produce, and for the avocado industry," said Jose Maldonado, Director of Global Logistics and Transportation for Mission Produce. "During the Peruvian season, we brought containers through Savannah to give us quicker access for our customers in the Southeast."
With farms located in the La Libertad region, near the city of Chao in Peru, Mission Produce ships avocados to the U.S. from May through September.
"Adding Savannah as an import location to serve the Southeast means fewer road miles, lower transit costs and fresher produce," said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz. "Garden City Terminal's refrigerated cargo infrastructure is unmatched on the U.S. East Coast."
Savannah's Garden City Terminal offers 94 refrigerated container racks and 733 chassis plug-ins, powering 2,989 refrigerated boxes at a time. Another 10 racks will be complete by the end of the year, adding 240 slots for perishable goods.
"With 830,000 square feet of private cold storage surrounding the port and developers planning another 300,000 square feet, we and private industry have the infrastructure to support the growing cold cargo business moving through Georgia," said Chris Logan, GPA senior director of Trade Development for beneficial cargo owner sales.
"Because of Georgia's central location within a large and growing market, combined with anticipated growth in farm output, we're expecting to move more cargo through Savannah next year," Maldonado said.
In addition to operations in Peru, Mission Produce ships avocados on a year-round basis from multiple countries, including the U.S., Mexico, Chile and New Zealand.
"Although using the Port of Savannah was a first for Mission Produce, the operation went very smoothly this season," said Ryan Keogh, FDC Operations Manager for Mission Produce. "We found GPA's customer service and support to be extraordinary."
The Georgia Ports Authority moved nearly 140,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units of refrigerated cargo in fiscal year 2015. The GPA anticipates a 4.5 percent growth rate of refrigerated cargo in the next year.
Find print-quality images of port operations HERE. Georgia's deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 369,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $20.4 billion in income, $84.1 billion in revenue and $2.3 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia's economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 11 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in CY2014.