The Port of Miami could be seeing increased shipments of Peruvian grapes and blueberries.

Miami port to welcome increased Peru importsThanks to a new cold treatment program starting Oct. 1, Peruvian shippers will be allowed to ship fresh produce to additional U.S. ports.

In the past, certain Peruvian products could only be shipped to specific Northeastern ports because of the other ports’ cold treatment facilities, according to a news release.

Conducted by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Florida Perishables Coalition, the pilot program will allow Peru to ship grapes and blueberries directly to the Miami port.

Through cold treatment, fruits and vegetables undergo sustained refrigeration sufficient to kill pests associated with imported fruits and vegetables.

Miami port to welcome increased Peru importsIn the program, exporters are required to cold treat the commodities before loading on the vessel.

The pre-shipment treatment will allow for immediate distribution and sale upon arrival, according to the release.

“It is great to see that the combined efforts of the U.S. and Peruvian governments have paid off,” Bill Johnson, the port’s director, said in the release. “Thanks to the efficient processing of cargo at PortMiami, this produce will be able to reach 70% of the U.S. population in four days or less. This opens up opportunities for both our countries and we look forward to increasing bilateral trade.”

The program is a positive step for Peruvian growers and exporters and can save shippers time and money and provide U.S. consumers fresher arrivals, according to the release.

During a June 20-21 Peru investors forum in Miami, port officials met with Peru representatives to discuss options for increasing trade between the country and the port.

The port and importers, growers and customs brokers have been working to expand Peru shipments to the port during the past several years, according to the release.