Philadelphia market distributors eye export business

11/04/2011 01:16:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Looking to expand beyond its traditional geographic distribution area, wholesalers on the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market are considering entering the produce export business.

Distributors plan to discuss export opportunities and challenges when meet with representatives of ocean freight companies, international trade service providers and other business and political leaders during a Nov. 16 seminar at the market.

Sonny DiCrecchio, the market’s president and chief executive officer, said the 700,000-square-foot market’s proximity to Delaware River ports and its cold-chain capabilities provides its vendors the ability to capitalize on international trade.

“With the many steamship lines that deliver produce to metro Philly, our merchants have a very significant opportunity to take advantage of economical ocean backhaul rates to serve fresh, high-quality produce to customers across large parts of the world,” DiCrecchio said in a news release. “Because our merchants carry a truly full line of fresh produce, they collectively can fill virtually any need — of a straight or mixed container-load — to many international buyers.”

DiCrecchio acknowledges entering the export world won’t be simple but said distributors shouldn’t overlook such clear opportunities to identify challenges and potential new markets.

Louis Penza Jr., partner with Pinto Bros. Inc. and the market’s chairman of the board, said new potential business awaits.

“With the draw of this ultra-modern, clean terminal market, Philadelphia distributors enjoy increased regional business and we remain focused on getting the word out to new customers within 500 miles on the advantages of shopping in Philadelphia,” he said in the release.



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