The expanding program allowing many Latin American perishables to enter the United States through Southeast ports is a transformative advance that should continue to grow in scope and commensurate savings, according to a commercial banking expert on logistics.
“This is a game-changer for South Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports,” Taylor Howerton, senior vice president and ports and logistics industry manager in the commercial banking sector of Atlanta-based SunTrust Bank, told the American Journal of Transportation.
Indeed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service already has added several ports to its in-transit cold treatment pilot program since rolling it out four years ago at a pair of South Florida seaports.
This year’s additions to the program include Central Florida’s Port Canaveral, joining such Florida ports as PortMiami and Port Everglades, both of which were in on the 2013 launch, as well as Port Manatee and Port Tampa Bay, both on Central Florida’s Gulf Coast, and North Florida’s Port of Jacksonville, each of which gained program approval in 2015.
Whereas the pilot program has been championed by the not-for-profit Florida Perishable Trade Coalition, beyond the Sunshine State, the Port of New Orleans garnered federal approval this May as well, while the Georgia’s Port of Savannah and South Carolina’s Port of Charleston have been cleared for participation, respectively, since 2014 and 2016.
In the May announcement from the Port of New Orleans, the port’s president and chief executive officer, Brandy O. Christian, termed pilot participation “a significant gain,” pointing to its potential for presenting options to reduce transit time from origin to consumer compared with traditional routings via U.S. Northeast ports…
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