The port of Venice in Italy has established a new commercial route for South American citrus entering the Mediterranean, according to perishable handling operator Venice Green Terminal (VGT).
On Saturday 4 July, the company took delivery of its first consignment of lemons exported by Argentinean citrus specialist San Miguel, while a second consignment is currently on its way from Uruguay and due to arrive on 18 July, with further arrivals expected throughout the South American citrus season.
What’s more, the port is said to be gearing up to receive other products from other parts of the world including Israel and North Africa.
Those products are understood to include citrus, mangoes, avocados, pomegranates, prickly pears, lychees, papayas and other exotic fruits.
VGT recently came under new management and has invested in new facilities including enough refrigerated storage space for 7,000 pallets at its facility in Venice’s Porto Marghera.
According to VGT, citrus suppliers in Argentina and Uruguay have chosen Venice because of its strategic position in relation to the Mediterranean, Adriatic and northern European markets.
The group said it was able to carry out all of the necessary checks on goods delivered to the port within 24 hours and then either deliver it to an importer’s packhouse or organise transportation to take it to the final customer on the importer’s behalf.
“We are able to move the goods, to distribute entire consignments or groupage from two to 15-20 pallets at a time,” explained VGT president Sergio Berto.
“Compared with the traditional routes from South America, choosing Venice could be advantageous for companies in the north-east [of Italy] as far as Emilia-Romagna shipping over land and redistributing within Italy, depending on how near the destination is, within a 500km radius from the [Venetian] Lagoon.”
Claudia Marcolin, secretary general of the Venice Port Authority, said the opening of a new commercial route was very positive for Venice and the surrounding port community.
“VGT is a positive example of how an old industrial area within the main Venetian port zone is recovering and diversifying the kind of activities taking place there.
“It’s a new activity that will help to strengthen the Lagoon docks’ leadership, both in terms of imports and exports, within the agri-business sector.”