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PhilaPort Special May 2021

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Page 6 of 39 the $300 million Capital Investment Program, a public-private partnership announced by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf in 2016, was particularly timely, as supply chain disruptions started emerging in spring 2020. The investment program's goal was to increase container capacity at PhilaPort and improve infrastructure significantly. "We installed five new electric super-post- Panamax cranes at Packer Avenue Marine Terminal (PAMT), more reefer plugs, and streamlined trucking gates. We also invested $8 million in an on-terminal building for US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) produce exams," Eric Holt, chief commercial officer of Holt Logistics, said. "This was a game-changer. It helped us keep dwell times down on fruit cargoes, both seasonal and year-round products. Likewise, it allowed us to grow new fruit segments that need government intervention. That was key for us in growing perishable cargo." Investments in technology and automation are also paying off, Holt said. In terms of container-handling productivity, "I think we're still the best on the East Coast," he said. "We achieve 35 moves per hour, per crane, which the steamship lines like. Terminal operations are entirely automated now. Trucks have radio frequency identification (RFID), and the yard has GPS capability, so all of the equipment is tagged; the cranes, reach stackers, containers, and truck assets, which for us makes a more efficient operation, including planning our labor and responding to various cargo surges." According to Holt, traditional fruit imports such as bananas, pineapples, and tropical fruits held steady over the past year, while citrus imports saw a spike, partly due to the pandemic. For 2021 perishables imports, Holt expects "tremendous growth from South Africa, up 30 percent, while growth from Chile, Peru, Uruguay, and Argentina will increase by 10 to 20 percent, depending on the country and commodity." Avocados are another import commodity that has "exploded," he said. Frozen food imports, especially french fries and frozen vegetables from Europe and Central America, expanded sharply in 2020 and are expected to remain strong. In the meantime, two new perishable segments are expanding: flowers and FIRST CHOICE FREEZER & Cold Storage is dedicated to handling, blast freezing, storing, and transporting your inventory in a modern, temperature-controlled warehouse, using the safest and most efficient means. Our team's mission, backed by state-of-the- art equipment, is to provide you with excellence and complete customer satisfaction. First Choice and its sister company, M&O, are both located in Vineland, New Jersey, convenient to the Port of Philadelphia. Together, they provide a unique advantage — a large volume of storage space within proximity to major cities on the East Coast. First Choice (396 N Mill Road) This facility was purchased in 2001, with major renovations and expansions completed in 2007, 2014, and 2017. It now offers over 300,000 square feet of storage. In 2020, the entire building was refaced and the wall panels replaced for better climate control and aesthetics. M & O (1200 N Mill Road) This facility was built in 2018 and opened in January 2019. Its first addition was opened in January 2020. The second addition will be complete in Q4 of 2021 for a total offering of 275,000 square feet of storage. Our facilities utilize the latest in cutting-edge inventory management, providing integrated supply chain execution capabilities and efficiencies in distribution, fulfillment, and public refrigerated warehouse operations that are second to none. RF- driven capabilities allow real-time tracking and reporting, minimizing cost while increasing productivity. We also operate a dedicated fleet of refrigerated and dry trucks that run shuttle services daily to points between customer locations. We are members of the Global Cold Chain Alliance, adhering to its best practices and industry standards for safety. We are regularly inspected by the FDA, USDA, and third-party entities to ensure we meet the strictest food safety standards. We have a certified HACCP plan in place for every critical control point of our operation. First Choice Freezer & Cold Storage and M&O Freezer & Cold Storage are both owned and operated by The Levari Group, LLC, a family business that has experienced significant growth since it was formed in 2001. Representing over three generations of expertise in the agriculture transportation and warehousing industry, First Choice Freezer & Cold Storage is your choice. Our name says it all • PhilaPort is located at the center of the richest consumer market in the northeastern US and ranks as one of the largest economic regions in the world. • The Northeast Corridor of the United States, running from Maine to Washington, DC, has a population of more than 56 million and a GDP of approximately $5 trillion. • Segregated container piles expedite truck turn times at the port. • Gate hours can be extended on demand. • The port boasts an on-dock Centralized Examination Station (CES) for agriculture cargoes. • March 2021: groundbreaking for PhilaPort's near-dock, food-grade distribution center. By the numbers A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE May 24 2021 | 7 PHILADELPHIA TRADE & LOGISTICS

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