Peruvian grapes arrived in Savannah this season, marking the first time the port has received this commodity from Peru. The grapes, which began arriving in November, are part of a string of commodities that are quickly making the port a major gateway in the Southeast for fresh produce and other perishables. The port already is receiving avocados, citrus and a large share of Peruvian sweet onions in the fall.
Savannah is the fourth-largest container port behind Los Angeles, Long Beach and New York and it’s location cuts transportation costs for receivers, who historically paid for freight arriving at ports in the Northeast. The savings per container are $1,000, if not more.
A large perishable facility will soon open 15 miles from the port offering various services for shippers, including refrigerated warehouses where re-packaging, fumigation and de-consolidation of perishable cargo can take place.
For now, the amount of grapes making the 17-day journey from Peru to Savannah is relatively small. But the volume of grapes, as well as other fresh produce items, will only increase as the benefits of the port become more apparent. Additionally, some observers believe Chilean and Central American commodities will more frequently come through the port.