CHILEAN FRUIT SEASON BEGINS AT THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES
Nation’s Busiest Seaport Expects to Handle 85,000 Metric Tons of Chilean Fruit Imports This Winter
Jan. 17, 2024 – The first 2024 vessel of Chilean fruit arrived at the Port of Los Angeles this week, carrying more than 5,300 pallets of grapes and stone fruit. The Port is currently the only U.S. West Coast port receiving specialized refrigerated cargo ships that carry palletized fruit from this South American agricultural hub.
“We have become the main stop for Chilean fruit imports on the West Coast that gets distributed as far north as Canada and as far east as Texas,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Being able to accommodate and efficiently process a variety of cargo for our customers – such as the fresh breakbulk shipment today – continues to be an important priority for our Port.”
In 2021, the Port of Los Angeles invested nearly $1 million to upgrade its breakbulk building at Berths 54-55, a marine terminal operated by SSA Marine. The building serves as the Port’s main staging area for pallets of Chilean produce, which SSA Marine then quickly distributes using the Port’s vast network of refrigerated trucking services and cold storage facilities. For more than 25 years now, Chilean growers have relied on this dedicated port terminal to deliver their fresh produce to North America’s consumer markets.
Departing from the Port of Coquimbo on January 3, the Ivar Reefer operated by Cool Carriers, a company specializing in the direct transportation of fruit and other fresh goods. Modern cooling and ventilation systems, as well as thermal insulation on their vessels, allow for optimal conditions and minimal risk of damage to perishable cargo. The vessel is the first of dozens that will be arriving at the Port of Los Angeles through the winter season, which runs from January through early April.