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Crowley subsidiary clears first Uruguayan citrus shipment to U.S. in 20 years

Crowley Maritime Corp.’s Miami-based subsidiary Customized Brokers recently cleared the first shipment of Uruguayan citrus to enter the U.S. in nearly 20 years.

Four refrigerated containers of Valencia oranges — two of which Customized Brokers cleared through customs — arrived in Philadelphia last week. The shipment came to fruition after the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services issued a new rule allowing the importation of several varieties of fresh citrus fruit, as well as citrus hybrids and the citrus-related genus Fortunella, from Uruguay into the continental United States as long as they adhere to strict sanitation and pest control guidelines.

“Taking part in a milestone such as this allows Customized Brokers to foster relationships with vested parties in the Uruguayan citrus program and expose them to the interrelated and complementary services Crowley is able to offer to perishables shippers throughout the Caribbean Basin and beyond,” said Customized Brokers’ John Donohue, trade development specialist, in a news release.

It is estimated that the agreement between the two countries will enable Uruguay to export $20 million worth of citrus annually and will directly impact 15,000 Uruguayan citrus growers.

Florida Perishable Trades Coalition – a non-profit association co-founded by Crowley and Customized Brokers, among others — is working to expand a pilot program that allows some cold-treatment perishables, such as blueberries and grapes from Peru and Uruguay, to be cleared through South Florida.

Currently, these perishables are required to enter through Northeastern ports. If the program is expanded, it could cut costs for shippers and reduce prices for consumers — as well as boost business for South Florida ports.

Jacksonville-based Crowley Holdings Inc. is the holding company for the 121-year old Crowley Maritime Corp., a privately held family and employee-owned company. The company provides project solutions, transportation and logistics services in domestic and international markets.

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