Fresh Quest contract brings
jobs, money to Port Manatee
Sep 5, 2009 2:35 PM
The Manatee County (FL) Port Authority has approved a five-year contract with Fresh Quest Inc, earning nearly $1.5 million for Port Manatee and creating about 75 new jobs.
Fresh Quest will import cantaloupe and honeydew melons to Port Manatee from Puerto Barrios, Guatemala; and Puerto Cortes, Honduras, where it owns farms and packing facilities. Fresh Quest ranks among the largest US importers of seasonal melons, from each November to May.
“Port Manatee is a good fit for our growth strategies,” said Fresh Quest President Mario Cardenas. “We intend to maximize the port’s proximity to Central America and our US and Canadian customer base, to minimize expenses and enhance delivery of a fresher, better product for the consumer.”
The Canadian-based company plans 22 seasonal voyages to the port each year. Exports bound for Central America will include used automobiles, farm equipment, and agricultural supplies.
Liberty Terminals LLC will provide stevedoring services for Fresh Quest, and Customized Brokers Inc will handle all aspects of the import process including US Customs clearance and compliance.
Port Manatee operates more refrigerated warehouse capacity than any other US Gulf of Mexico port and is at the entrance to Tampa Bay. It ranks among Florida’s largest and fastest-growing deepwater seaports.
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