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First West Coast shipment of Chilean fruit arrives in Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles received their first breakbulk vessel shipment of Chilean summer fruit at the end of December.

Miguel-Steve-and-RezaMiguel A. Cea, Steve Hattendorf and Reza Marashi.Steve Hattendorf, merchandiser from the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association; Miguel A. Cea, president of AG-Fume Services, Inc. and Reza Marashi, County of Los Angeles Department of Agricultural commissioner inspector welcomed the “Cold Stream” Vessel, which discharged over 227,000 boxes of fresh cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots and table grapes for North America’s consumer markets west of the Rockies stretching from Southern California to Vancouver and reaching into west Texas.

Located at Berths 53-55, the 14-acre break bulk terminal specializes in receiving refrigerated cargo ships, also known as reefer vessels, and assembling, distributing, loading and unloading pallets of fresh Chilean fruit. The Port’s vast network of refrigerated trucking services and cold storage facilities safeguard the perishable commodities in transit to grocers, produce markets and distribution centers.

The season for importing Chilean fresh fruit extends from December to April. During the last season, the Port handled more than 82,000 metric tons of Chilean fresh fruit, which represents nearly one-fifth of all fruits and vegetables imported through Los Angeles.

The Chilean Fresh Fruit Association employs three merchandisers who work hand in hand with retailers throughout the United States and Canada on tailored, targeted promotions of Chilean fruit. Cherry promotions are now in full swing, with blueberry, grape and stone fruit programs ramping up in January.  

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