Furthering a trade relationship expected to be spurred by the October initiation of direct weekly service between the two ports, officials of Port Freeport and the Costa Rican Caribbean port of Puerto Lim’n today signed a sister port agreement.

In a ceremony at the offices of Japdeva, the Atlantic Coast Port Authority of Costa Rica, officials of Port Freeport and Puerto Lim’n signed the pact and shared hopes for growing trade.

“Last month, the startup of direct sailings between our two ports marked the beginning of what we are confident will be a long and prosperous relationship for us all,” said J. M. Lowrey, chairman of the Brazos River Harbor Navigation District Board of Commissioners, which has jurisdiction over Port Freeport.

In addition to Lowrey, those signing the agreement on behalf of Port Freeport included a fellow member of the Port district commission, F.J. Richers, and Port Freeport Executive Director A. J. “Pete” Reixach Jr.

Signators for Puerto Lim’n were Rita Marie, port manager for Japdeva; Marlon Clark, Japdeva legal counsel; and Karl McQueen, port superintendent.

Beginning with an Oct. 19 sailing from Puerto Lim’n, the Costa Rican port is now part of Isabella Shipping Co. Ltd.‘s weekly Gulf service that links Freeport with the Colombian ports of Turbo and Cartagena.

Much of the northbound cargo has included Colombian-grown Turbana bananas. Both Isabella Shipping and Turbana are units of C.I. Union de Bananeros de Uraba, S.A., commonly known as Uniban.

The signing took place as Port Freeport officials take part in a Nov. 1-4 trade mission event sponsored by Procomer, the Costa Rican Foreign-Trade Corp., in the Costa Rican capital city of San Jos’.

Joining port officials in Costa Rica at the signing ceremony and at the trade mission event to promote the new service is Carlos I. Agudelo, operations manager for Coral Gables, Fla.-based Interoceanica Agency Inc., agents for Isabella Shipping.

“The signing of a sister port agreement between Port Freeport and Puerto Lim’n enhances the historical links between the state of Texas with the Latin American countries, both cultural and economically,” Agudelo commented.

Officials are particularly focusing upon attracting oversized and general cargoes to accompany refrigerated produce on the northbound leg from Puerto Lim’n to Port Freeport, according to Reixach.

Both vessels deployed by Isabella in the service ’ the /M/V Magnific/ and /M/V Maveric/—are configured primarily to handle palletized shipments but have limited container capabilities as well. Each has a total carrying capacity of about 2,500 tons of cargo per voyage.