Port of Wilmington foresees continued growth in fruit imports

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Following a successful winter fruit season in 2022 that led to the unloading of 130,000 pallets of grapes and other Chilean fruits, Port of Wilmington manager GT USA is confident that volume will continue to grow this year.

It came as Joe Cruise, CEO, left, of of GT USA Wilmington and Robert Blackburn, vice president, commercial were on hand to welcome the MSC Capucine R and present its captain with a plaque to mark the vessel’s first call of the season.

 “We are delighted to welcome the MSC Capucine R to the Port of Wilmington. It is a privilege to be able to continue to work with MSC and our Chilean partners to facilitate the timely distribution of fresh and delicious fruit to North American consumers.” said Cruise.“ “We are particularly pleased to welcome the vessel in this very special year for the Port of Wilmington, as in September, we will celebrate 100 years of operations,” Cruise noted.

When the Port first opened it stood on 105 acres. It now occupies 308 acres. The port had warehouse storage 120,000 square feet. Today, it has over 1 million square feet.

In the port’s  first year it handled 17,000 tons of cargo, and today the port handles over six million tons, and along the way, has become a major port of entry and distribution center for fresh fruits from South America Central America and North Africa, along with other fruits and juices from around the globe.

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Cargo is stored in the Port’s 850,000 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 struggled during the Covid-19, but has seen an upturn in volume.

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