Holt Logistics hosted a delegation from several African nations including Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, and Tanzania at its facility in the Port of Philadelphia on Friday as part of a visit organised by the African Business Roundtable at the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank.
The group toured facilities at Gloucester Marine Terminal to learn about the numerous quality initiatives and processes utilised by Holt Logistics Corp, as well as to discuss potential expansion of trade partnerships that will come as a result of the proposed African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) currently before the US Congress.
The visit came on the eve of the start of the African fruit season, in which perishable summer commodities originated on the continent begin to arrive on shores in the US.
The first vessel of the 2015 South Africa fruit season arrived on Monday at the Gloucester Marine Terminal. The Lapponian Reefer, a specialised refrigerated cargo ship discharged approximately 3,600 pallets of fresh oranges from the Western Cape of South Africa. The cargo arrived under the strict guidance of 360 Quality, an international shipping association dedicated to ensuring quality and safety in supply chain management for perishable fruits and vegetables.
“This visit of the delegation of West African leaders is timely in many ways,” said Peter Inskeep, general manager of the Gloucester Marine Terminal. “The beginning of the summer citrus season has created a heightened interest and awareness in developing nations of the value of fast, dedicated and direct transport of food products. We are also eager to share best practices in food handling and production with these potentially very important trade partners in support of AGOA, which will greatly increase commodities traffic between our two continents.”