The Port of Wilmington, Delaware welcomed this year’s first shipment of Chilean winter fruit onboard Pacific Seaways’ (PSW) specialized reefer vessel, m/v Discovery Bay, on Wednesday, December 19. Wilmington is the nation’s leading marine terminal for imports of refrigerated cargoes and the number one port on the Delaware for Chilean fruit imports. Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner’s trade mission to Chile last October underscored the Port of Wilmington’s commitment to the Chilean fruit trade and the importance of its economic impact to the state of Delaware and the tri-state region.
Last season more than 186,000 pallets of Chilean fruit with a retail value of more than one billion dollars moved across the Port’s docks.
Despite a late harvest and the consequent slower start up of this year’s shipping program, Port officials anticipate another strong season with new Chilean exporters as members of the PSW group.
PSW has chartered larger vessels to transport the Chilean fruit and the Port expects up to 35 ship calls from the Chilean ports of Valparaiso, Coquimbo and Caldera carrying primarily table grapes, plums, nectarines, apricots, peaches, cherries, kiwi and other deciduous fruit through April. Apples, pears and kiwi fruit will begin in April and continue arriving at the port through June.