Crowley Maritime has launched a new, six-month pilot program that allows for the clearance of cold-treatment perishables, such as blueberries and grapes from Peru and Uruguay, through South Florida, as an alternative to Northeast ports.
The new pilot program was spearheaded by the Florida Perishable Trades Coalition, a nonprofit association developed to increase trade in perishable products through Florida’s airports and seaports. Founding members include Crowley Maritime; Customized Brokers, Crowley Maritime’s Miami-based subsidiary; Seaboard Marine; and Port Miami.
Currently, these perishables are required to enter Northeastern ports for cold treatment and clearance, and then must be transported to southern states for distribution in stores.
Crowley Maritime said in a written statement that the benefits include lower transportation costs and longer shelf-life for products for shippers; lower grocery store prices for consumers; more business for southern ports, such as Port Miami and Port Everglades; and environmental advantages from reduced emissions.
Crowley Maritime also released a video on the new pilot program, featuring Nelly Yunta, vice president of the Customized Brokers: