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Delaware River ports tops for fruit

2019-6-12-1043-52-Gloucester-Packer-AvenueRefrigerated cargo trade into the Delaware River increased by 9 percent last year according to the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. Now operating with the PhilaPort name, the organization in May released its latest trade statistics.

The Delaware River ports handled fresh fruit worth $3.6 billion in 2019. Philadelphia has its own sophisticated seaport infrastructure. But the port of Wilmington, DE, and New Jersey Delaware River port facilities substantially add to the overall trade numbers of river trade totals.

In 2019, Delaware River ports received a total of 4 metric tons of refrigerated cargo. Of this total, bananas contributed 47 percent of the tonnage.

Pineapples, which typically arrive with bananas on containerized cargo ships, accounted for 14 percent of the tonnage. Citrus fruit accounted for 6 percent of the river’s tonnage, while grapes and melons each represented 4 percent of tonnage.

Refrigerated meats accounted for 7 percent and “other” commodities filled the total tonnage, with 18 percent.

Reefer containers brought 28 percent of the river’s total cargo tonnage, despite the presence of much heavier items like dry containers (31 percent) and liquid bulk (20 percent).

The river’s container trade has grown by an average of 12 percent per year since 2012. The reefer container cargo growth shot from 88,461 twenty-foot equivalent units in 2012 to 219,619 in 2019.

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