US_Port of Wilmington Dole bananas

Fresh Fruit Maroc has signed a five-year agreement with the Port of Wilmington to continue using the facility as its North American distribution hub for clementines through to 2017. The deal, along with a 30 per cent forecast rise in clementine imports this season, will create 89 jobs at the port.

Under the terms of the agreement, Fresh Fruit Maroc is expected to bring 10-13 ships to the port each year between October and March, carrying a total volume of 35,000 tonnes of fruit. It is the second major deal Wilmington has signed this year. In August, Dole signed a new 15-year lease with the port that includes an option for two 10-year extensions.

“Every bit of business helps and every bit of business is important,” governor Jack Markell told Delaware’s NPR news station. “We have to recognise this is a competitive industry. So the opportunity to sign up first class customers like Dole and Fresh Fruit Marco is a great opportunity for the port, but we can never rest on our laurels.”

Wilmington is the largest US port handling fresh fruit imports, as well as being North America’s leading banana port and the second largest in the world.