Nearly two dozen members of Mexico’s produce industry were recently in Philadelphia to observe firsthand what this port has to offer in handling and distributing Mexican cargo arriving by ocean.
The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority hosted the Mexican Inbound Trade Mission. Also in attendance were government representatives and regional industry members who have been active in the Ship Philly First effort to create an ocean link between the east coast of Mexico and Philadelphia, which is a seaport specializing in the fresh and vegetable produce trade.
SeaLand, a refrigerated container steamship company stepped up to link Mexico and Philadelphia through its new SL Atlantico Northbound weekly service, which began in late January. While there is certainly room for growth, all indications are that the route has a strong start.
Fresh Mexican produce is the primary target for the northbound service, but frozen meats and chilled foods are other key products that suit Atlantico Northbound. Dry goods, such as auto parts and many other commodities have access to the service. In broad numbers, Pennsylvania and Mexico have two-way trade with one another with a total value of $8 billion.
This new ocean freight option gives Mexican exporters a less-expensive alternative for reaching the populous eastern United States and Canada. Forty percent of the U.S. population is within a one-day truck delivery of the Port of Philadelphia.
The Mexican produce exporters located south and east of Mexico City have been tagged as having the most to gain through this ocean freight vs. trucking through Nogales. AZ or the state of Texas.
SeaLand sails from Veracruz on Tuesdays to make a stop in Altamira, which is another port further north on the Gulf of Mexico coast in the state of Veracruz. The ship then departs for Philadelphia and arrives the following Wednesday, six days later.