Launched by the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the pilot program allows direct import of select fruits and vegetables from South America into southeastern US ports after undergoing a two-week cold treatment and obtaining the necessary unloading clearances. Safeguarding produce from fruit flies and other pests, cold treatment enables time-sensitive shipments to achieve customs compliance while in transit, rather than after they arrive in the US.
Port Canaveral’s participation in the program represents a positive development for GT USA, which began its operations in 2016 at the Canaveral Cargo Terminal (CCT). With its weekly container cargo service, Blue Stream, CCT – the only dedicated container terminal at Port Canaveral – serves as an important transit point for fresh produce and other perishable cargo.
The development is set to enhance GT USA’s operational excellence, improve service quality, boost CCT’s cargo-handling capabilities, and increase cost efficiency through cutting down on transit times for produce and other cold-treated commodities, as well as reducing container and transportation costs.
Shippers can now take advantage of additional options to transport perishable cargo. The port’s proximity to Central Florida by land and sea, combined with the shorter transit times, will enable importers of agricultural products to bring fresher and better-quality produce to the high-demand consumer market.
Gulftainer is the first port management company from the Middle East to operate in the US. CCT’s inclusion in the program advances Gulftainer’s global capabilities and supports its drive to encourage innovation in logistics and supply chain management. As part of these efforts, Gulftainer showcased state-of-the-art logistics solutions in May 2017 at the Sharjah Business Summit, which the company co-hosted in partnership with prominent local government entities.
Gulftainer’s operations in the UAE currently include the Khorfakkan Container Terminal (KCT), the Sharjah Container Terminal (SCT) at Port Khalid, and the Sharjah Inland Container Depot (SICD). The company’s international presence spans the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas with projects in Umm Qasr in Iraq, Jeddah and Jubail in Saudi Arabia, and Recife in Brazil.
Over the next decade, Gulftainer has earmarked an ambitious growth strategy to triple volumes. The company aims to continue expanding operations through investments in infrastructure to meet the requirements of its customers through serving newer, larger ships and stepping up its capacity to handle higher volumes per call.