( File photos )

Americold Realty Trust, which owns and operates temperature-controlled facilities and infrastructure, has acquired PortFresh Holdings, which serves the fresh produce industry primarily through the Port of Savannah, Ga.

In connection with the acquisition, Americold plans to build a 15-million-cubic-foot cold storage facility on adjacent land owned by PortFresh, according to a news release. The total cost of the deal, including 163 acres, is about $35 million.

The new facility is expected to cost between $55 million and $65 million, according to the release.

“The Port of Savannah is one of the fastest growing ports in the United States and has seen increased traffic of temperature-controlled trade," Fred Boehler, president and CEO of Americold Realty Trust, said in the release. "With this investment, Americold is fulfilling our customers’ requests to expand into this growing market, which provides an efficient and cost-effective solution to meet their import and export needs.”

The project represents a significant long-term growth opportunity, Boehler said in the release.

The facility will have 37,000 pallet positions and infrastructure to support refrigerated-containerized trade, according to the release. Construction is planned to start by mid-2019, with completion slated for the first quarter of 2020.

According to 2017 statistics, the Port of Savannah is the fourth-largest port in the U.S.

PortFresh Founder and CEO Brian Kastick has joined Americold with this acquisition and will help to grow the company’s fresh produce business initiatives, according to the release.

“PortFresh has developed the import market for temperature-controlled logistics in the Port of Savannah,” Kastick said in the release. "I believe that Americold’s brand, platform and operational expertise will enhance PortFresh’s capabilities to serve both our existing and new customers."

 
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