Posts Tagged “Port of Savannah”
East-West routes have been added to Georgia’s Port of Savannah for its chilled produce business.
The port serves as a gateway for perishable products after joining the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Southeast In-Transit Cold Treatment Pilot Program, according to a news release. Before, the port received produce from Chile, Peru, Uruguay and Argentina that had been cold treated. Now the port serves all of South America, with the ability to import from Spain, Morocco and Italy.
“This is an exciting development that opens Savannah as a new option for growers around the world to reach the U.S. Southeast with greater speed and efficiency,” Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch said in the release. “Georgia’s central location means shorter overland routes to inland markets, allowing time-sensitive cargo to reach customers faster, fresher and at lower cost.”
Proximity to large cities like Atlanta and Memphis sets the port up as a hub for refrigerated produce. Ships call on the port 35 times a week.
Earlier this year, Americold Realty Trust, which owns and operates temperature-controlled facilities and infrastructure, acquired PortFresh Holdings, which serves the fresh produce industry primarily through the Port of Savannah.
“We’ve got kiwis on the water, and we are getting our first few containers in from Morocco now,” Ken Burke, vice president of client relations at PortFresh, said in the release. “We’re gearing up to handle very heavy business starting with the summer citrus program from Chile and Peru, and for next season, the Spanish and Moroccan produce will really start to come online.”
Savannah can handle time-sensitive items like asparagus, previously shipped as air cargo, but now delivered in containers to the port.
“Not only can we now handle produce that has undergone cold treatment while in transit, Savannah also has a local facility certified to perform re-treatment should that prove necessary,” Cliff Pyron, Georgia Ports Authority chief commercial officer.
A variety of fruit comes through the port, including blueberries, mangoes, apples, pineapples, grapes, bananas and avocados, according to the release.
PortFresh has 100,000 square feet for chilled produce storage, and Americold plans to add an additional facility with 37,000 pallet positions.
By Americold Realty Trust
ATLANTA- Americold Realty Trust (NYSE: COLD), (the “Company” or “Americold”), the world’s largest owner and operator of temperature-controlled facilities and infrastructure, today announced that the Company has acquired privately-held PortFresh Holdings, LLC (“PortFresh”), a leading temperature-controlled operator servicing fresh produce trade primarily through the Port of Savannah. In connection with its acquisition of PortFresh, Americold plans to build a new 15 million cubic foot state-of-the-art cold storage facility on adjacent land owned by PortFresh. The total cost of the acquisition, including approximately 163 acres of contiguous land, is approximately $35 million. The cost of the planned new build is expected to be between $55 to $65 million. Americold funded the acquisition with cash on hand and expects to fund the development from available capital resources.
“The Port of Savannah is one of the fastest growing ports in the United States and has seen increased traffic of temperature-controlled trade. With this investment, Americold is fulfilling our customers’ requests to expand into this growing market, which provides an efficient and cost-effective solution to meet their import and export needs. We believe this development project represents a significant long term growth opportunity for the Company, as we continue to grow our scale and develop our partnership with the Port of Savannah,” said Fred Boehler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Americold Realty Trust.
The planned new facility will feature 37,000 pallet positions, advanced blast freezing capabilities, and space and infrastructure to support refrigerated-containerized trade. Americold expects to begin construction on the new facility in the first half of 2019, with the opening expected to be in the first quarter of 2020.
The Port of Savannah imported 1.8 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containerized cargo in 2017, a 10.6% increase over 2016, making it the nation’s fourth-largest port, as reported by the 2018 U.S. Ports Report from Descartes Datamyne. The port’s Southern US location, ocean carrier network and access to transportation channels, including to growing markets in South America and Europe, reduces transportation time as compared to Northeastern ports, which require additional trucking and transport. The Port of Savannah continues to expand and has a stated strategy to double its storage capacity with its partners in the next 10 years.
“The Georgia Ports Authority is pleased to welcome Americold to the Savannah market,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “This announcement represents yet another expansion of Savannah’s position as a hub for the handling of cold and chilled cargoes, and complements the port’s continued on-terminal development of refrigerated cargo infrastructure.”
Brian Kastick, PortFresh’s Founder and CEO, has joined Americold with this acquisition and will help to grow the Company’s fresh produce business initiatives. “I am delighted to join the Americold platform at this exciting time. PortFresh has developed the import market for temperature controlled logistics in the Port of Savannah. I believe that Americold’s brand, platform and operational expertise will enhance PortFresh’s capabilities to serve both our existing and new customers,” stated Kastick.
The returns for the development project and acquisition are consistent with the Company’s stated return expectations for such projects upon stabilization.
Americold is the world’s largest owner and operator of temperature-controlled warehouses. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Americold owns and operates 156 temperature-controlled warehouses (as of September 30, 2018), with approximately 928 million refrigerated cubic feet of storage, in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Argentina. Americold’s facilities are an integral component of the supply chain connecting food producers, processors, distributors and retailers to consumers.
The Port of Savannah will soon see its container capacity increase with the addition of four cranes to help move those containers. The port is the largest single container facility in the U.S.
The four Neo-Panamax cranes arrived in late November, bringing the total number of the cranes at the facility to 30. Six more cranes are scheduled to arrive in 2020, and when all are operational, the port will be able to move 1,300 containers an hour, according to a news release.
“(As) we reflect on all the success we’ve enjoyed, we also look forward to the new era of prosperity these cranes will help usher in,” Georgia Ports Authority board chairman Jimmy Allgood said in the release. “Our considerable investments today ensure Georgia’s ports reputation for excellence.”
Upgrades to the Mason Mega Rail Terminal will double the Port of Savannah’s annual rail capacity to 1 million container lifts, expanding the port’s access to the Midwest.
The Neo-Panamax cranes can lift containers 152 feet above the dock and the booms reach out 192 feet. Each crane can lift 72 tons. The cranes operate over nine berth spaces.
All of the new cranes, a $47-million investment, will be operational by April.
Not only has The Port of Savannah recently received its first-ever shipment of table grapes, it was the port’s first fresh produce, coordinated by Alpharetta, Ga.-based AGRO Merchants Group, which operates cold storage facilities in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.
While this first time happening may be modest, it could very well mean increased loading opportunities for truckers hauling fresh fruits and vegetables out of the Southeastern U.S.
Fresh Peruvian table grapes were shipped by Divine Flavor, a grower-owned distribution partner of the Mexican company Grupo Alta, according to a news release.
Nordic Cold Storage, a member of AGRO Merchants Group, managed the local handling and logistics of the shipment.
AGRO said it was the first shipment of fresh produce imported through the port and stored in a chilled facility in Savannah.
“We are very excited to work with the AGRO Merchants team on our Peruvian grape program in Savannah,” Divine Flavor’s chief operating officer, Jose Antonio Martinez, said in the release. “Their superb customer service has been evident since day one and their reputation as an expert third-party service provider in the perishable industry is well-founded.”
The Peruvian grapes will be delivered to retailers in the Southeast and Midwest, according to the release, and the proximity of the Port of Savannah to Divine Flavor’s customers will save up to five days in delivery.
In response to the rising market demand for fresh produce to be handled through the growing Savannah seaport, AGRO converted part of the nearly 400,000-square-foot Nordic frozen facility into chilled refrigerated space, an interim solution while the company completes construction of a new facility in the Port of Savannah, according to the release.
The Port of Savannah is only 250 miles from the major distribution hub in the Southeast – Atlanta – and also provides easy access to markets throughout the Southeastern United States.
Within a few weeks PortFresh Logistics, a Georgia-based company, plans to open a 100,000 square-foot cold treatment facility dedicated to perishable cargoes. These items will be imported through the Port of Savannah. The facility will strengthen Savannah in its role as a new entry point for South American produce.
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.
The Savannah, Ga., port will be authorized to accept commodities from Peru and Brazil that have undergone cold treatment. Brazil and Peru grapes and Peru blueberries and citrus, including mandarins, tangelos, clementines, tangerines, grapefruit and sour limes, are to be allowed, according to a news release. The cold treatment process prevents the transmission of agricultural pests and last year, the USDA approved a similar program for cold-treated Peru and Uruguay blueberries and grapes into Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the Port of Miami.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Crowley Maritime Corp. Inc., imports produce and other commodities through the south Florida ports and ports in Jacksonville, Pennsauken, N.J., and Gulfport. The test program should help increase produce movement, something the Savannah port doesn’t handle much of. The program is said to be the next logical step to complement cold treatment conducted at Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport. The port is looking to grow their perishables imports because they export a lot of poultry and refrigerated cargo.
Containers that fail cold treatment will be prohibited from entering the port and will not be offloaded from vessels but will be allowed to ship via sea to a northeastern port for retreatment or be returned to the country of origin, according to the release.
While South American fruit destined to customers in the Southeast has traditionally been shipped to northern U.S. ports, the addition of Savannah could reduce truck delivery times and allow fresher offerings for stores and longer shelf life for consumers.
The port plans to work closely with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection to evaluate the application of cold treatment and to monitor its progress, according to the release.