Vessel brings cargo of Chilean grapes to the Port of Wilmington
GT USA Wilmington (GTW) has welcomed the m/v MSC CAPUCINE R to the Port of Wilmington for its maiden call of the winter fruit season.
The m/v MSC CAPUCINE R is a container vessel, built in 2001, she is 243.1 meters in length and 32.2 meters wide, with a carrying capacity of 3430 TEUs. Upon berthing GTW operations began discharging her cargo of containerized grapes from Chile. The containers were stripped immediately and, once regulatory approvals have been received, the cargo will be ready for pick up and distribution.
Following a successful winter fruit season in 2022, where the Port handled around 130,000 pallets of grapes and other Chilean fruits, GTW is confident that they are well on track to exceed those figures in 2023.
Joe Cruise, Chief Executive Officer of GT USA Wilmington and Robert Blackburn, Vice President, Commercial were on hand to welcome the vessel and present its captain with a plaque to mark the vessel’s first call of the season.
“We are delighted to welcome the MSC CAPUCINE R to the Port of Wilmington. It is a privilege to be able to continue to work with MSC and our Chilean partners to facilitate the timely distribution of fresh and delicious fruit to North American consumers.” said Cruise. “We are particularly pleased to welcome the vessel in this very special year for the Port of Wilmington, as in September we will celebrate 100 years of operations,” Cruise added.
Operations at the Wilmington terminal began in 1923, so as it enters its 100th year, the Port is reflecting on its history and what a remarkable journey it has been.
When the Port first opened it stood on 105 acres, now it occupies 308 acres; it had warehouse storage of 120,000 sq. ft., today it has over 1 million sq. ft., it had a berthing area of 1,210 ft. and now has over 4,500 ft.
In the terminal’s first year it handled 17,000 tons of cargo and today the Port handles over 6 million tons, and along the way it has become a major port of entry and distribution center for the seasonal importation of fresh fruits from South America Central America and North Africa, along with other fruits and juices from around the globe. Cargo is stored in the Port’s 850,000 square foot on-dock refrigerated warehouse complex, one of North America’s largest facilities, before distribution to markets throughout the United States and Canada. The Port is Safe Quality Food (SQF) certified and has worked hard to put itself in a good position to service the fresh produce trade and take advantage of new business from all over the world.