WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Port of Wilmington welcomed its first shipment of bananas imported from Central America this week.
The shipment mark the start of a yearlong commitment to bring in weekly deliveries of bananas.
"Today's shipments mean fresh fruits will reach consumers faster and cheaper," said Hans Bean, vice president for trade development for NC Ports. "This represents major progress in our ability to service North Carolina's significant grocery sector, several of which are having their headquarters and perishable distribution centers in NC."
After their delivery to the port, the bananas will be trucked to distribution centers across the Carolinas.
"Bananas are the latest addition to North Carolina Ports' expanding portfolio in the perishables industry," said NC Ports Chief Operating Officer Brian Clark. "Joint efforts with our customers, our cold chain partners and government agencies including CBP and USDA have helped facilitate these new produce flows via the preferred NC gateway of Wilmington. This will deliver benefits for produce customers, carriers and consumers with optimized routings and efficiencies through the Port of Wilmington."
Officials noted that in December that the port became the first South Atlantic port to implement both phases of the Department of Agriculture's Southeast In-Transit Cold Treatment Pilot program, which allows for more direct imports of produce.