Shippers that Import Perishable Food are Using Florida Ports for Faster Service and More Options

Everyone has been impacted to varying degrees by the supply chain congestion. This has had a direct impact on shippers importing perishable food.

Now, shippers that import fresh and prepared food are using Floridan ports for faster service and more options, as congestion and delays at other ports have caused many issues for logistics providers dealing with perishable goods. Fresh and prepared food can’t sit out on a dock for three or more days, because it will start to turn bad and lose value. With that in mind, companies are searching for better solutions and Florida is being seen as an ideal route.

Seeing Success at the Ports in Florida

Ports in Florida have been seeing success in reefer container exports and imports for the majority of last year, as the Ports handled 452,833 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the first 11 months of 2021. In comparison, this outran the overall U.S. reefer growth of 6.5 percent within the same time frame, the Journal of Commerce (JOC) reported.

Because the availability of cold storage warehousing near major Florida ports has been clear, this provides reefer cargoes to be deconsolidated quickly for distribution. Rick Schiappacasse, Director of Specialty Cargoes for the Jacksonville Port Authority, told the JOC, “From Jacksonville, Florida, [cargo] can get into a distribution center in less than a day.”

The Chief Commercial Officer for the Port of Tampa Bay, Raul Alfonso, said that Florida’s ports are well-equipped in the handling of reefer cargoes, in part to the 400 million square feet of warehousing and distribution space along the Interstate-4 corridor that traverses the middle of the state, reported the JOC. The ports in Florida have spent years of investments building its port system. They look at their ports as one whole unit, instead of breaking them down individually. If one port is unable to handle it for whatever reason, they make sure it gets sent to another port.

Looking Ahead

On the last week of February, port officials will be going to California for a major shipping conference to advocate for more cargo ships to be sent to Florida. They see this as a way to ease the current supply chain issues in the world, the Tampa Bay Times states. The ports in Florida continue to strive for progress and find ways to best serve their customers, stakeholders, and anyone else impacted.

While the cold storage businesses in Florida continues to search for more land near ports, more options to bring in refrigerated goods has increased. These businesses are also searching for other ways to get their goods to the market, without it costing them an arm and a leg for refrigerated ocean containers.

If you would like more information regarding this topic, contact our team at InterlogUSA and we will be happy to assist you on any questions or comments you may have! In addition, we have our weekly market updates that can provide you with relevant freight news, updates, developments across the industry, and more.

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