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Port Tampa Bay: Banana shipments resume after 21 years

Port Tampa Bay has a new refrigerated warehouse cold storage facility and last week, Port Logistics Refrigerated Services, which operates the state-of-the-art cold storage facility, received its first shipment of perishable products. Just under 4,000 pallets of bananas were unloaded adjacent to the 135,000-square-foot refrigerated warehouse.

This shipment marked the port’s and Port Logistics Refrigerated Services ability to offer “a new cold supply chain solution to customers in Florida, the Southeast and beyond,” stated Port Tampa Bay CEO Paul Anderson. “It enables us to provide significant savings in their truck delivery costs.”

“Chiquita is very pleased with this first shipment of bananas through Port Tampa Bay as a new entry port for the distribution of our fresh fruit into the continental U.S. market,” Manrique Bermudez, logistics director for Chiquita Brands International, said in a statement to Port Tampa Bay. He said he was pleased with the cooperation provided by several U.S. government agencies, the port and the private warehouse operator “to make this first shipment a success.”

Bizjournals.com reports how the cold storage facility, completed last fall, has onsite services that include cutting-edge fumigation to USDA inspection areas to a laboratory and a gravity rack system that transports products for weighing and measuring.

It's that success that Port Tampa Bay’s Chief Commercial Officer Raul Alfonso said “could be a great first step. We’re hoping that that can bring us future shipments.”


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