Port of Miami in Florida has recently been named a U.S. Customs & Border Protection Center for Excellence and Expertise for Agriculture and Prepared Products. This acknowledgement comes as Port of Miami is also being sought out by shippers and brokers looking to import bigger quantities of produce into the region from Chile. The reason for this is a given considering the port’s close proximity to Chile, the world’s largest exporter of winter fruit.

The current protocol is for fruit imports from Chile to come into ports in the northeastern parts of the U.S. and then truck the fruit to Florida for distribution. This can cause both importers and consumers to suffer as the shelf life is shortened and transportation costs lead to higher prices for customers.  For the first time, Miami makes the list of the top targeted markets for importing fruit from Chile. Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Wilmington had previously been the three top cities. Tapping into the Import Genius database of shipping manifests, Los Angeles recorded nearly 3,500 shipments containing fresh fruit in 2012. Wilmington recorded over 3,500 shipments and Philadelphia topped the other ports with over 5,700 fresh fruit imports, amounting to 415,455,706 million pounds. The goal is for a significant percentage of the imports currently being sent to these alternate ports to begin shipping to the Port of Miami so importers and consumers alike can reap the benefits.  Chile’s trading relationship with the U.S. is a two-way street. Florida is also a major exporter to Chile, and the country is the number sixth region among Florida’s top exporting destinations. Imports to Chile saw an increase in October 2012 of more than 24%. Nearly 800,000 shipments were exported to Chile from the U.S. last year.  Not only is the Port of Miami the ideal location for Chilean for shipment arrivals, but the port is also a convenient location for shipments passing through to other countries. Eric Olafson, Esquire, manager, Intergovernmental Affairs/Cargo Development for Port of Miami called the port the ‘perishables transshipment gateway to Europe’ and the ‘perishables gateway for the U.S.’.  Source: Port of Miami seeks to increase Chilean imports and deepen relations