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Port of Virginia now allows ag imports from South AmericaImporters of perishables from South America can now move their cargo across The Port of Virginia as the port is now a participant of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Southeast In-Transit Cold Treatment Pilot program.
Virginia is the newest member of a pilot that is designed to import fresh fruit to U.S. East Coast ports from South America. The pilot allows entry of in-transit, cold-treated containers of agricultural products originating in South America, including blueberries, citrus, and grapes from Peru; blueberries and grapes from Uruguay; and, apples, blueberries and pears from Argentina.
“This designation is important for logistics and supply chain managers importing agricultural products because it means shorter total transit times from origin to market,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.
“This helps to diversify our cargo mix. It opens the door for new cargo and provides an important service for owners and shippers of perishables. This helps to support our strategic growth plan and further establishes The Port of Virginia as a global gateway.”
In the past, these time-sensitive shipments would have come to the East Coast and moved across ports in the Northeast. Prior to the program’s start in 2013, the perishables were required to enter Northeastern ports for cold treatment and clearance and were then transported to southern states for distribution into stores.
There will be many beneficiaries of the change, Reinhart said. Shippers will see lower transportation costs and a longer shelf-life for their products; consumers will see lower prices at the store; and there will be environmental benefits from reduced emissions related transportation.
Publication date: 10/4/2017
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