The Port of Los Angeles has just finalised a programme of almost US$1m in upgrades at it breakbulk terminal building at Berths 55-55, operated by SSA Marine.
The works include the installation of a new fabric membrane roof, as well as replacing parts of the drywall, and adding new exterior lights, doorframes and fire doors.
As the main entry point for Chilean fruit arriving in the West Coast of the US, the terminal serves as an important hub for imported grapes, stonefruit, kiwifruit and avocados from Chile.
Between 70,000-90,000 tonnes of perishables go through the facility every winter season.
“Being equipped to handle breakbulk shipments efficiently for our customers is an important priority at our Port,” said Marcel van Dijk, the port’s cargo marketing manager who oversees coldstorage shipments.
“US consumers expect fresh produce on grocery shelves year-round and we are committed to having the best possible infrastructure and facilities in place to assure that perishables get to market quickly and expediently.”
From December through early April, the building is the main staging area for the pallets of Chilean produce off-loaded by specialised refrigerated vessels at the terminal.
The port’s vast network of refrigerated trucking services and coldstorage facilities then convey the fruit to grocers, produce markets and distribution centres to as far north as the Canadian Border and as far east as Texas.
For more than 25 years, Chilean growers have relied on the dedicated SSA Marine terminal at the Port of Los Angeles to deliver their fresh produce to North America’s consumer markets.
The port is North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, facilitating US$276bn in trade in 2019. It has remained operational throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.