Chiquita enters 11-year lease with Port of Wilmington, Del.
Chiquita Fresh Fruit North America signed an 11-year lease agreement Sept. 23 with Diamond State Port Corp., owner and operator of the Port of Wilmington, Del.
The new 27.6-acre lease will keep Chiquita in the port until July 2019.
'It will enable Chiquita to continue leveraging Wilmington's superior perishable supply-chain capabilities for the next 11 years,' said Deverl Maserang, vice president of North American product supply and logistics for Chiquita, in a statement. 'From Wilmington, we can quickly and cost effectively reach key distribution centers as far as Ontario, Quebec and the maritime provinces of Canada in the north, and in the U.S. as far west as the Mississippi and as far south as North Carolina.'
In 2007, Chiquita directed 52 ship calls to Wilmington and handled more than 45,000 containers in the port.
According to a recent study by Martin & Associates for the port, Chiquita generates more than $21 million in annual business revenue, creating 400 jobs and producing more than $1.5 million per year in regional taxes. When extended over the life of the new lease agreement, Chiquita's economic impact totals more than $230 million in business revenue and $16.5 million in regional taxes.
Chiquita moved its East Coast operations to Wilmington in 1988, first with conventional breakbulk ships and later that year with a weekly containerized banana service from Central America.
'In the past two decades, not only has Chiquita continued to grow its tropical fruit program in Wilmington, but also has chosen Wilmington as its U.S. East Coast distribution center for Chilean fruit imports,' the Diamond State Port Corp. said.