Feature, Freight News, Sea

Port of Wilmington, Del., welcomes first Chilean fruit vessel for 2016-17 season

[ December 16, 2016   //   ]

The Port of Wilmington, Delaware received its the first breakbulk shipment of Chilean winter fruit to the US on December 14 for the seventh consecutive season. The m/v Hellas Reefer, a specialized refrigerated vessel operated by Trans Global Shipping NV in the Global Reefers service, discharged over 992,100 boxes of fresh cherries, blueberries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, and table grapes.

Wilmington is a major port of entry and distribution center for the seasonal importation of fresh Chilean winter fruit. During this season, the port anticipates receiving at least 25 shiploads of fruit from the Chilean ports of Valparaiso, Coquimbo, and Caldera. Global Reefers is the sole shipping line providing an express service direct from Chile to the Port of Wilmington. ”The arrival of the Hellas Reefer marks the seventh year in a row that the First State has had the opportunity to receive the season opening breakbulk shipment of Chilean winter fruit, not only on the Delaware River but in the entire US. It is our pleasure to once again directly support the trade interests of our partners and customers in providing US and Canadian consumers with the freshest possible fruit for the Holidays,” said Gene Bailey, port executive director.

The cargo is stored in the port’s 800,000 sf on-dock refrigerated warehouse complex, one of North America’s largest, before distribution throughout Canada and the eastern region of the US. The port handled over 15,428,000 boxes of Chilean fruit in the 2015-16 season. This important trade supports over 857 family sustaining jobs and annually generates $48 million in personal income, $51 million in business revenue and $5 million in tax revenue for the state and the region.