( Courtesy AGRO Merchants Group )

Cool Pak Solutions, a Port of Long Beach, Calif., cold storage and repack operation, has been purchased by AGRO Merchants Group, a cold storage and logistics company.

Cool Pak opened its 175,000 square-foot facility in 2013 at the port’s overweight corridor. It was originally opened for produce companies and their importing/exporting needs in Southern California, according to a news release, and now offers inspection, grading, repacking, cross-docking and fumigation services.

Steve Karo, Cool Pak co-founder, will lead the business for AGRO as managing director.

“I started Cool Pak with a vision to create a first-of-its kind, full-service operation in the Port of Long Beach,” Karo said in the release. “I’m extremely proud of the success we’ve achieved as an org, and I look forward to continued growth for the business as part of AGRO Merchants Group.”

The Long Beach facility complements AGRO’s East Coast storage and repacking operation in Vineland, N.J., said Dave Moore, president of AGRO Merchants North America.

“Trade inflows of fresh fruits and vegetables have consistently grown over time and today represent a significant percentage of overall produce sales in the U.S.,” Moore said in the release. “AGRO plays a vital role in this supply chain and we continue to expand our service capabilities through both internal capital investment and strategic acquisitions.”

Moore said Southern California is a key fresh produce import region, and AGRO has been seeking a presence there.

Besides the East/West Coast operations, AGRO and its financial partner, Oaktree Capital Management, operate 16 other U.S. facilities, mostly in the south. Worldwide, the group has more than 7.5 million cubic meters of temperature-controlled warehouse and distribution space, according to its website.

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