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PortMiami expects to receive its first shipment of cold-treated grapes from Peru on Dec. 1 as part of a new pilot program.Cold treatment is a process performed on imported fruits and vegetables to kill pests associated with the produce. In the past, Peruvian products such as table grapes and blueberries could only enter the United States via certain northeastern ports. But under the new pilot program, cold-treated products bound for Florida and the southeastern U.S. can be imported directly to PortMiami, port officials said in a press release."Thanks to the efficient processing of cargo at PortMiami, this produce will be able to reach up to 70 percent of the U.S. population in four days or less," said Bill Johnson, the port's director. "This opens up opportunities for both our countries and we look forward to increasing bi-lateral trade with Peru, an important trade partner."Florida East Coast Railway recently restored freight-rail service to PortMiami that was suspended in 2005 after Hurricane Wilma severely damaged a rail bridge leading into and out of the port. The railroad also is building an intermodal yard at the port that's slated to open next year.
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