The Port of Wilmington received the first breakbulk shipment of fresh Moroccan citrus of the season to arrive in the United States.
The M.V. Belgie Reefer, a specialized refrigerated vessel, was welcomed on Wednesday with perishable cargo on behalf of long-time Port of Wilmington customer Fresh Fruit Maroc.
The Belgie Reefer dischargedher cargo of over 574,800 boxes of fresh clementines.
Wilmington is a major port of entry and distribution center for the seasonal importation of fresh Moroccan citrus.
During this season that runs through March, the port anticipates receiving approximately 12 shiploads of fruit from the Moroccan Atlantic port of Agadir. The arrival of the Belgie Reefer marks the 19th consecutive year that the Port has been receiving shipments.
“We are privileged to continue as the port of choice to serve our customers and trade partners for timely distribution of the freshest available fruit to North American consumers,” said Eric Casey, CEO of the port, operated by GT USA Wilmington.
GT, a part of aprivate company based in the United Arab Emirates, signed a long-term lease for the port owned by the State of Delaware this year. The agreement is valued at as much as $600 million and involves a new port along the Delaware River at the former Chemours Edgemoor site.
Susan Bricks, representative for Fresh Fruit Maroc North America, said, “Wilmington has been a great partner for us over many years – important not only to our group, but to our customers. We are looking forward to another successful season.”
Cargo is stored in the Port’s 800,000 square foot on-dock refrigerated warehouse complex, one of North America’s largest facilities, before distribution to markets throughout the United States and Canada. The Port of Wilmington handled more than 10.7 million boxes of Moroccan citrus in the 2018-19 season.
The port creates over 5,900 higher paying jobs and annually generates $436 million in business revenue, $409 million in personal income and $41 million in local taxes. For further information, visit www.gulftainer.com