The Diamond State Port Corp. and Chiquita Brands have agreed Chiquita will continue to use the Port of Wilmington as its mid-Atlantic distribution hub for the next five years.
The agreement includes two five-year renewal options, which could extend Chiquita’s stay at Wilmington until 2029, according to a news release.
Chiquita’s business means Wilmington will continue to handle more bananas than any other port in North America.
In 1988, Chiquita consolidated mid-Atlantic supply chain operations to Wilmington, which is now its largest port operation in North America.
Chiquita brings bananas, pineapples and other tropical fruits and vegetables into North America through the port from Central America.
“We are extremely pleased that Chiquita has decided to sign a new lease with the port and continue our long and fruitful relationship,” Gene Bailey, executive director of Diamond State, said in the release. “Chiquita is a most important customer and responsible for hundreds of jobs and ... significant economic impact to our port, state and region.”
“The Port of Wilmington is an important destination for Chiquita and our customers,” Mario Pacheco, Chiquita’s senior vice president of global logistics, said in the release. “We are pleased that we have reached an agreement that will enable us to continue to call Wilmington home for many years to come.”