EDITOR’S NOTE — SPW recently spent a day at Port of Savannah filming for upcoming coverage — stay tuned
Previously, the imported berries could only enter the U.S. through one of three regions: South Florida, Philadelphia/New York, and LA/Long Beach.
Blueberries from Chile are now handled in a controlled environment by PortFresh Logistics, located seven miles from Interstate 95 and 15 miles from GPA’s Garden City Terminal.
“For importers, shipping product to a port that is closer to the consumer market creates a more efficient supply chain and reduces overall cost,” said PortFresh CEO Brian Kastick. “In fact, customers can reduce transit costs by $1,700 per truck when they use the Port of Savannah.”
GPA is working with the USDA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to increase the number of commodities and countries that can use Savannah as a port of entry. Blueberries are the latest addition to an expanding portfolio at the Port of Savannah, which now includes imported mangos, citrus, grapes, avocados, bananas, apples and pears.
“Savannah already has an established outbound refrigerated market serving exports of domestic products such as pecans, poultry and other proteins,” said Chris Logan, GPA senior director of Trade Development for beneficial cargo owner sales. “Loaded inbound refrigerated boxes represent an expansion opportunity, because they reduce repositioning costs, and deliver savings to our ocean carriers, importers and exporters. Perishables are a key and growing market segment for the GPA.”
Lynch said the GPA has invested steadily in refrigerated container racks, in keeping with an overall philosophy of maintaining infrastructure at least 20 percent above current demand.
The GPA’s FY2018 budget calls for the addition of five refrigerated container racks (for a total of 109), which will add 120 container slots. Once the addition is completed, the new total for rack slots will be 2,616. Counting 716 chassis plug-ins, Savannah’s total capacity will be 3,332 containers at a time.