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July 3, 2023

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34 Journal of Commerce | July 3, 2023 www.joc.com Latin America Trade and Logistics Special Report state when the longer vessel and truck hauls to/from the Northeast are replaced with shorter vessel and truck hauls from Savannah." From 2020 to 2022, refrigerated containerized imports through the US Southeast surged 23.5%, more than double the 11.6% national growth rate during the same period, according to data from PIERS, a sister product of the Journal of Commerce within S&P Global. The Port of New York and New Jersey, by contrast, has seen volumes from South America decline signifi- cantly. A spokesperson for the port noted that Brazil had been one of the top 10 trading partners with the port but fell off that list last year. "We do not do a lot of trade with South America mostly for geograph- ical reasons," the spokesperson said. "That trade primarily stays south of us." She did point out, however, that the Red Hook Container Terminal, located in Brooklyn, across the harbor from the port's primary container terminals, added a weekly Caribbean service last year that primarily han- dles food products. Major transshipment ports in Panama have also benefited from the increase in perishable cargoes flowing through the US Southeast. "Transshipment cargo bound for the US East Coast increased by 8% last year, especially for containers destined to Savannah, Miami and Charleston," Larissa Barrios, business development manager at Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT) in Colón, Panama, told the Journal of Commerce. The increase was partly due to an increase in refrigerated cargoes, most of which come from the West Coast of South America. "Peru, which is one of the main ori- gin countries for this trade, had a record in exports last year, with US as its main destination market," Barrios said. MIT has also seen an 8% rise in container volumes to the Caribbean, thanks to the launch of new services as well as the resolution of port con- gestion issues that caused six-week delays for transshipment cargoes last year, she said. "Dwell times have been reduced," Barrios said. "This year, the average is down to seven days." JOC email: keithwallis@hotmail.com which is no surprise, since we now import approximately 30% of all per- ishables imported into Florida," the PortMiami spokesperson added. Increased demand for fresh pro- duce and other perishables, as well as rapid population growth, is also driving growth in Latin America trade at other ports, particularly in the US Southeast. "Our trade with South America continues to grow, especially perish- able cargo trade with the West Coast of South America," Bruce Kuzma, senior director of trade development for ocean carrier and non-container sales at the Georgia Ports Authority, told the Journal of Commerce. "Most of this cargo is a shift from traditional points of entry/exit in the Northeast region of the US East Coast." "The US Southeast continues to benefit from a population shift from the Northeast and Midwest," he added. "As the population in the Southeast grows, so does the demand for perish- ables. Perishable cargo arrives in stores across the region in a much fresher switched to direct services to Miami," a PortMiami spokesperson told the Journal of Commerce. "We have not heard of them switching back." Total Latin America trade volumes through Miami slipped to 3% year over year to 303,935 TEUs in 2022 but remained well above the 257,262 TEUs the port handled in 2018, the spokesperson said. That includes a 58% jump in shipments of perishables to and from Latin America during the same period. The increase is expected to con- tinue with the launch of two new services with connections to Latin America and the Caribbean, the Port- Miami spokesperson said. "Just this April, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services introduced the Colibri Service, linking Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Jamacia with PortMiami," the spokesperson said. "According to ZIM, imports coming into Miami on the Colibri Express include fresh citrus, frozen shrimp, frozen fruit and vegetables, tiles, alumi- num products, glassware and spirits." CMA CGM in October 2022 added a call to Miami on its Med Gulf Service, which links the West Mediterranean ports of Tangier, Genoa and Valencia with Miami, Veracruz and Altamira in Mexico, and Houston. "The top three commodities on the new services are perishables, "We have not heard of them switching back." Average monthly volumes from Brazil to the East Coast of North America fell 25% to around 20,000 TEUs in Q1 2023. Brastock / Shutterstock.com

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