Last week’s offloading was the first non-containerised shipment to reach the US since market reopened for Argentine lemons in 2018

A 3,500-tonne consignment of fresh lemons from Argentina arrived in the Port of Philadelphia on 22 July, marking the first shipment on non-containerised lemons to be made to the US since the resumption of exports in 2018.

Holt Logistics Argentine lemons

Representatives from Holt Logistics marked the occasion with a brief dockside reception alongside trade representatives and other business leaders from both countries.

The M/V Baltic Erica unloaded approximately 3,300 pallets of lemons from Argentina, the first ever breakbulk cargo consignment to enter the US under a new agreement between the US Department of Agriculture and The National Service for Agrifood Health and Quality (Senasa).

“The historic arrival of fresh lemons from Argentina brings yet another high-quality source product through the Port of Philadelphia,” said Eric Holt, chief commercial officer for Holt Logistics.

“This import represents years of negotiations and positive relationship building between commercial and safety interests surrounding the import of fresh goods into the US. We are grateful to all partners who worked together to make this day possible.”

The vessel departed from the Euroamérica port complex near Buenos Aires on 9 July bound for the US, and discharged at Gloucester Terminals in Gloucester City, New Jersey carrying 3,273 pallets containing a total of more than 3,700 tonnes of lemons.

“This shipment of fresh lemons to the US is unprecedented and novel for the country, since the merchandise is sent directly in a hold ship to the port of Philadelphia,” said Guillermo Ruffo, plant protection coordinator of the North Buenos Aires Regional Centre.