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Rail News: Intermodal

Chilean blueberries to be imported through Georgia port

Giumarra International Berry last week began moving fresh blueberries from Chile through the Port of Savannah, Ga., to better serve Atlanta and other southeastern U.S. markets. The first shipment of blueberries arrived from South America on Jan. 8.

Shipments of conventional and organic blueberries will continue to arrive at the port — which is governed by the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), and served by CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway — through late March or early April. Giumarra officials expect a larger crop than last season.

The business with Giumarra highlights the authority's commitment to the refrigerated cargo market, said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz in a prepared statement. Giumarra's program is similar to a service GPA provides to Georgia's sweet onion producers, who use South American farmers to supply the U.S. market after the domestic growing season ends, he said.

"Because of our direct interstate access, as well as having two Class I rail services on our facility, we can serve the Atlanta and Southeast regions more efficiently by importing this fresh produce directly through the Port of Savannah," said Foltz.

Giumarra, which operates a packing plant in Alma, Ga., was attracted to the port's streamlined cargo flow and location near Interstate 95, said Alan Abe, the company's general manager for the East Coast.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/16/2013