Port Tampa Bay cold storage warehouse receives first refrigerated cargo

Port Tampa Bay, Florida, USA: A new dockside cold storage warehouse at Port Tampa Bay has received its first perishable products, a 3,900-pallet shipment of bananas that port officials hope will be followed by other refrigerated cargo.

The bananas were imported by Chiquita from Ecuador on the refrigerated vessel Wild Lotus, and were moved into the 135,000-square-foot warehouse of Port Logistics Refrigerated Services (PLRS).

The shipment marked the first time in nearly two decades that Tampa has handled bananas. “This is an important first step in our efforts to demonstrate how Port Tampa Bay can now provide one of the most efficient gateways for produce and perishables in the region,” said Raul Alfonso, the port’s chief commercial officer.

Richard Corbett, the Tampa developer who financed the PLRS terminal on property leased from the port, said he expects the Chiquita shipment to be “the first of a long line of diverse frozen and refrigerated food products to move through our terminal with destinations to central Florida and the southeast US.”