The closure of quayside cold storage facilities within Cape Town harbour has resulted in a change to operational procedures for the export of citrus fruit under cold treatment conditions from South Africa (SA) to the United States of America (USA). Previously, all citrus fruit destined for the USA was pre-cooled to temperatures of minus 0.6° and colder for a minimum uninterrupted period of 72 hours where, for the last 24 hours, the fruit was required to be at the target temperature. The fruit was then loaded from the quayside cold storage facilities into the vessels.
For the first time in South Africa, vessel MV Humboldt Bay will be loading 100% of the intake fruit that will arrive from approved cold storage facilities located outside the port vicinity. Fruit will be precooled to the relevant protocol temperature at these facilities and transported with approved refrigerated trucks to the vessel. A total of 3 300 pallets of citrus fruit will be shipped on the vessel MV Humboldt Bay under cold treatment conditions. Approximately nine vessels in total are planned to load fruit from South Africa to the USA market during the 2019 citrus season.