PortFresh Logistics, Savannah, Ga., announced plans to build a 100,000-square-foot cold treatment facility dedicated to perishable cargoes imported through the Port of Savannah. The facility, slated to open in late summer, will strengthen Savannah in its role as a new entry point for South American produce.

“We are proud to welcome PortFresh Logistics to the community of service providers supporting customers at the Port of Savannah,” says Griff Lynch, incoming executive director for Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), Savannah, Ga. “Perishable foods are an important growth sector for the GPA.”

PortFresh Logistics has been working for more than two years to meet the need for additional chilled cargo infrastructure in Savannah. 

“Currently, more than 90% of imported fruits and vegetables entering the U.S. East Coast arrive via Northeast ports,” says Brian Kastick, chief executive officer of PortFresh Logistics. “That means cargo headed to the Southeast must be trucked down, adding time and expense to the logistics supply chain. Using the Port of Savannah offers significant time and money savings per container for areas throughout the Southeast region. We believe the growing population of the U.S. Southeast, government policy changes and perishable industry consolidation will break open significant pent-up demand for the new perishable supply chain gateway built around the Port of Savannah.”

PortFresh’s state-of-the-art cold storage facility, which is situated on 20 acres of a 182-acre site, is specifically designed to allow multiple climate zones.

“Our customers have found they are able to move perishable cargoes more efficiently and deliver better quality products to store shelves by using the Port of Savannah,” says Chris Logan, GPA senior director of trade development for beneficial cargo owner sales. “Citrus, avocados, blueberries and other products are already moving through the Port of Savannah, and we hope to grow that portfolio.”

The facility will handle both import and export cargo. The building will be located right off Interstate 16 on Old River Road in Effingham County, seven miles from Interstate 95 and 15 miles from the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal.