Posts Tagged “Port of Savannah”

Routes, Facilities for Chilled Produce are Added at Port of Savannah

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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.

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Americold Acquires PortFresh Holdings; State of Art Facility is Planned

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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.

About Americold

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.

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Container Capacity is Increasing at Port of Savannah

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SavannahThe 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.

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Savannah Port Receives First Ever Fresh Produce Shipment

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Not only has The Port of Savannah recently savannahreceived 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.

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Savannah Port Getting New Cold Treatment Facility

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DSCN3254+1Within 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.

Brian Kastick, CEO of PortFresh Logistics, said the company has been working for more than two years to meet the need for additional chilled cargo infrastructure in Savannah.
“Currently, more than 90 percent of imported fruits and vegetables entering the U.S. East Coast arrive via Northeast ports,” Kastick said. “That means cargo headed to the Southeast must be trucked down, adding time and expense to the logistics supply chain.”
Thanks to a new U.S. Department of Agriculture program allowing South American citrus fruit, grapes, blueberries and other produce items to enter via the Port of Savannah, substantial cost savings are now available to customers across the Southeast and beyond.
“Using the Port of Savannah offers significant time and money savings per container for areas throughout the Southeast region,” Kastick said.
PortFresh’s state-of-the-art cold storage facility, on 20 acres of a 182-acre site, is specifically designed to allow multiple climate zones. Engineered to maintain cold chain integrity, the facility will ensure delivery of the freshest and safest produce from the port to the customer.
Chris Logan, GPA senior director of Trade Development for beneficial cargo owner sales said “Citrus, avocados, blueberries and other products are already moving through the Port of Savannah, and we hope to grow that portfolio.”
The facility will handle both import and export cargo.

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Savannah Port is Now Handling Imported Peruvian Grapes

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DSCN3240+1+1Imported grapes from Peru are now being handled by a port of entry in Georgia.
The Port of Savannah is now receiving Peruvian imported grapes, adding to the list of cold-treated perishables using Savannah as a port of entry.  The port also is handling avocados, citrus and sweet onions from Peru, although the season for the latter commodity has recently ended.
With the introduction of Peruvian red globe grapes, Savannah is now receiving all of the grape category leaders from Peru.
The grapes, moved from Andean Sun Produce farms in Ica and Piura, Peru, are part of a USDA’s program, in which citrus, grapes and blueberries are chilled for at least 17 days prior to entry into the U.S.   Removing potential pests via cold treatment reduces the need for pesticides.
By delivering fresh produce in Savannah, receivers are taking advantage of much shorter and faster refrigerated truck transportation to Atlanta and other major markets across the U.S. Southeast.  For example, this means only a four-hour truck ride to Atlanta versus a day and half from the Philadelphia ports.
The USDA program to allow cold-treated produce to enter through more U.S. ports will relieve congestion at older ports of entry, while shortening the supply chain between producers and final consumers.   The ultimate goal is to deliver imported fruit to our U.S. receivers faster, fresher, and at competitive prices, cutting logistics costs.

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Port of Savannah is Receiving More Imported Produce

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SavannahPortThe Port of Savannah, Georgia continues to play a larger role with imports of fresh 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.

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Updates on Imported Fruit from Chile and Peru

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002Wintertime South American imports are underway ranging from Chilean blueberries to Peruvian fruit.

Chilean blueberry imports have started, but the first volume of containers by boat will not arrove until late December.  Chilean blueberry imports typically occur from November through March.

U.S. imports of Chilean blueberries are expected to range between six and 18 percent more than the 2014-15 season.  Last season Chile exported about 101.4 million tons of fresh blueberries, of which 67 percent were sent to the U.S. and Canadian markets.  U.S. imports of Chilean fresh blueberries totaled 63.1 million tons in 2014-15, up from 49,7 million tons in 2013-2014.

Peruvian Grape Imports
Imported seeded grapes from Peru are arriving in volume at ports on the East Coast.  Peruvian red grapes are said to have better quality than green grapes this season.  California grape shipments are winding down this month.
Peruvian Avocado Imports
The Port of Savannah has added Peruvian avocados to its expanding portfolio of perishable goods.   Importing avocados through Savannah is a first for the avocado industry   Savannah allows faster  access to receivers in the Southeast. Peruvian imports occur from May through September. 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.The Georgia Ports Authority moved nearly 140,000 20-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.

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Savannah Trails Only New York City as an East Coast Container Port

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DSCN4526Savannah, Georgia trails only New York City as an East Coast container port and ranks No. 4 nationally after Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, according to Datamyne and compiled by Bloomberg.

Now, the city, which as a modest population of 143,000, is  opening another shipping market in the city’s emergence as a major trade hub with the Port of Savannah.

The Georgia Port Authority reports not only has Savannah  been the fastest-growing port in the U.S. for the past 10 years, but it is now in a position to grow and become No. 1., something that was unfathomable a decade ago.

Ongoing improvements at the port are continuing to push it forward.

Bloomberg reports that the Port of Savannah’s September imports rose 21.7% compared to a 7% increase for New York.    However, keep in mind that New York still imported nearly twice the cargo.

Of course, New York will always move large cargo volumes because of its massive consuming population.

One of the large selling points for Savannah is the port’s proximity to major expressways like I-20 and I-95.  The port is currently working to deepen its waters to attract larger ships that may come through the expanded Panama Canal as well.


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Port of Savannah is Now Importing Fresh Produce

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DSCN3236+1The Port of Savannah plans to receive South American fruit through a U.S. Department of Agriculture pilot program allowing imports of cold-treated commodities.   The program was launched  September 1.

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.

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