Chiquita banana to ship bananas via Florida's Port Manatee

Chiquita banana to ship bananas via Florida's Port Manatee

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Chiquita banana to ship bananas via Florida's Port Manatee

During a Port Authority meeting last Tuesday, Port Manatee Executive Director Carlos Buqueras announced a new customer to Port Manatee - Chiquita.

After thanking the port authority and port staff for their support and efforts, Buqueras called the accomplishment a "big deal" citing the arrangement with a world-renowned customer, Chiquita Banana.

As the Port’s newest non-aggregate customer, Chiquita will begin cargo delivery of their bananas to Port Manatee on a bi-weekly schedule. Previously, Chiquita Bananas arrived at local grocers by truck delivery after cargo delivery to Port Everglades.

"These bananas can be delivered directly to your local supermarkets instead of being trucked for hours from other parts of Florida,” Buqueras explained.

The direct import to Port Manatee will not only spare the bananas a several-hour commute by truck for distribution to Manatee supermarkets but the import is also expected to cut back on pollution and fuel consumption previously expended for their highway delivery to the region. 

The newly announced arrangement with Chiquita Banana comes after the October 2021 announcement that Port Manatee had reached an extended lease agreement with decades-long customer, Florida-based Del Monte unit in Coral Gables, through at least 2026.

Port Manatee reported a 53.3 percent year-over-year increase in the number of 20-foot-equivalent container units crossing its docks, reaching 135,660 twenty-foot equivalents (TEUs) in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2021.

Chiquita is already chartering space on Del Monte vessels that are arriving at the port, and Chiquita Banana containers have already begun to move across the docks at Port Manatee. 

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