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Sealand enjoys strong perishables business into Philadelphia

Inland from its refrigerated container steamship service into Philadelphia, Sealand is working with logistics services, particularly with Holt Logistics Corp., to “help customers beyond the ocean.Sealand-Tiger1

Tom Krajewski, Sealand’s head of refrigerated sales, said the firm works beyond the port. Holt Logistics is important to Sealand and its sister, Maersk Line, at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, which is a major container terminal along the Delaware. The Holt family operates Packer Avenue and owns the Gloucester Marine Terminal, which faces Packer from the east side of the river in Gloucester City, NJ.

Cooperation with the Holts allows giving shipping customers just one invoice, which includes inland movement of product. Sealand services “are not one size fits all.”

Inland services can include stripping containers and moving product to various warehouse facilities.

Krajewski said the widespread infrastructure around the Delaware River, with cold warehousing and other such services, is a key to the success of the river’s operations in serving importers of perishable products. This and a strong inland transportation system allow goods coming into the area quick distribution to the Northeast, Canada and the Midwest.

Krajewski said Sealand currently has two routes serving Philadelphia. Maersk has a third service offering.

Sealand brings bananas from Turbo, Colombia to the Packer Avenue Terminal with its “North Atlantic Express” service.

There is a stop in Manzanillo, Panama, which generally involved adding containers arriving from Peru, Ecuador and Chile via the canal.

These ships also pick up containers in Puerto Moin, Costa Rica, before sailing on to Philadelphia. The Costa Rica stop involves bananas, pineapples, root vegetables and frozen juice.

Sealand’s other Philadelphia service, the “South Atlantic Express”, embarks from Cartagena, Colombia, with stops in Panama, Honduras and Guatemala. Perishables include bananas and melons.

The Maersk service into Philadelphia serves perishable shippers in Australia and New Zealand, and connects in Panama and Cartagena, Colombia and provides a direct service from that port to Philadelphia.

In late June, Krajewski indicated that Sealand fresh produce service into Philadelphia from Central America was seasonally quiet.

This summer Sealand is carrying avocados from Peru and Colombia, as well as South American summer citrus.

South American blueberry cargo will begin this September for Sealand. That date will vary depending upon conditions facing North American blueberry producers.

It has been two years since Sealand canceled the “Atlantico” service from Mexico’s east coast to Packer Avenue.

“We made a strong attempt, but the volume didn’t materialize. Tried for a year and a half. It just didn’t take.”

The supporting concept was that produce growers in the southern half of Mexico could ship directly to Philadelphia and avoid the expense of shipping up through Mexico and across the United States.