On March 13 Governor Ruth Ann Minner and officials from Dole Food Company and the Diamond State Port Corp. unveiled Dole’s new $16 million warehouse at the Port of Wilmington.
The 92,267 square foot warehouse is located on 5.5 acres near the Dole container yard. The new warehouse will increase Dole’s refrigerated warehouse space at the Port by 57%. Dole signed a 15-year lease for the expanded property.
‘I congratulate the Port of Wilmington and Dole Fresh Fruit Company for the recent completion of this new state-of-the-art warehouse,’ Gov. Minner said. ‘This is a very significant investment in our Port and underscores the value Delaware places on business relationships with companies that want to grow their business in Delaware. In addition, I would like to thank the DRBA for collaborating with the State in funding this important project.’
Dole received $12 million from the state and $4 million from the Delaware River and Bay Authority for the project.
‘We are very pleased with the addition of Warehouse H to our operations in Wilmington. The new warehouse will enable us to expand our local operations, improve refrigerated space consolidation and utilization, and to make federal inspections of fruit cargo more efficient, timely and cost effective’, said Richard J. Dahl, President and Chief Operating Officer of Dole Food Company (Dole). ‘In addition, a new office space will provide Dole’s quality control group an excellent work environment’ he added.
In 2005, Dole discharged nearly one million tons of tropical and Chilean fruit in Wilmington. Dole’s cargo and related business activity creates more than 480 direct, indirect and induced jobs. Warehouse H is anticipated to generate more than 150 additional good jobs for the State of Delaware and the region.
Other officials at the ribbon cutting ceremony included US Congressman Mike Castle and F. Michael Parkowski, Vice Chairman of the Delaware River & Bay Authority.
‘In the economic development arena, the Authority’s goal is to be a growth catalyst, investing resources to create and retain jobs,’ said Parkowski who noted that the agency also participated in the construction of Warehouse A in 1998. ‘The Port of Wilmington is a big employer and generates significant economic benefits for the region. The DRBA recognizes the importance of the Port of Wilmington and is proud to participate in projects that will aid its growth and prosperity.’
‘We thank the State of Delaware and the DRBA, for bringing this very important project to fruition and for their unwavering commitment to the Port’s continued growth and its concomitant regional economic impact. Also, we thank Dole for their loyalty, our strong business partnership over these many years and their continued confidence in the Port’s ability to support their increasing logistics requirements in a very competitive global market,’ remarked Gene Bailey, Executive Director of the DSPC.
Dole, the world’s largest fruit company, discharges weekly shipments of bananas and tropical fruit at the Port of Wilmington. The Port’s is the world’s largest banana port, the nation’s leading gateway for imports of fresh fruit, and the #1 container terminal on the Delaware River.