Chiquita shifts operations from Gulfport, Miss.
Chiquita Brands International, a marketer and distributor of fresh produce, has relocated its operations from Gulfport, Miss., to Freeport, Texas, and Port Everglades, Fla., after Hurricane Katrina devastated Gulfport.
The company's port facilities were 'severely damaged,' said Bob Kistinger, president and chief operating officer of Chiquita Fresh. 'While we are still assessing the situation, it is clear that we will need to relocate our services from Gulfport for the foreseeable future.'
Kistinger said, 'we are very committed to Gulfport and are developing plans to rebuild our facilities there as soon as possible.'
In 2004, Gulfport handled one-quarter of Chiquita's banana imports to the United States via weekly shipments arriving from Central America.