The Georgia Ports Authority is participating in a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pilot program that will bring South American citrus grapes and blueberries to the Southeastern U.S.
GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz said South American fresh fruit destined for the Southeast market has traditionally been shipped to northern U.S. ports. “Delivery to Savannah means fruits won’t have to be trucked as far to reach Southeastern markets allowing fresher offerings for stores and longer shelf life for consumers.”
Starting September 1 the Port of Savannah will begin handling fruit from South America that has undergone cold treatment a process that prevents the transmission of agricultural pests.
Through the USDA pilot program citrus fruits grapes and blueberries will be chilled for at least 17 days prior to entry into the U.S. to protect against fruit flies. The process will be done in producing countries – including Peru Chile and Brazil – or at transshipment points such as Panama. Cold transport cuts logistics related emissions with more efficient shipments and reduced truck miles.