Wilmington port signs 5 year deal with Moroccan fruit company

 (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

(AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

The port of Wilmington, long known as the number one facility in the nation for the importing of foreign fruit, announced a 5 year deal with Fresh Fruit Maroc.

The announcement assures the Moroccan company will use the port as its North American distribution point of citrus fruit such as clementines.  

Governor Jack Markell’s office praised the agreement.  Spokesperson Cathy Rossi says there is an expected 30% increase in port volume this year.  That will increase employment in that cargo area from 69 to 89 workers.

“The long-term commitment from the Moroccan growers, affirms the Port of Wilmington’s leadership and specialization in the critical handling of fresh fruit and produce from around the world for the benefit of the citizens of the Eastern United States and Canada,” said Alan B. Levin, Chairman, Diamond State Port Corporation.

There are 10-13 ships that arrive from Morocco each year.  That accounts for 35,000 metric tons of fruit.

The news is another welcome shot in the arm, a few weeks ago Dole announced it was keeping its operations at the Wilmington port and not moving them to New Jersey.  

However,  the port has been looking for ways to plan for its economic future.  Those issues will be explored on First, Friday at 5:30 and 11pm on WHYY TV.

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