The Port of Corpus Christi began receiving major shipments of melons from Guatemala through its cold storage facility last week. Frontera Produce of Edinburg, TX is importing melons to include cantaloupes and honeydews from Guatemala through Altobaso, S.A. Frontera has contracted approximately 2,400 tons per week during the season from November through May, excluding February. The cantaloupes and honeydews will be shipped to major grocers, retailers and wholesale distributors throughout the US.

The Green Summer, which is part of the Green Reefer vessel fleet, arrived at the Port’s cold storage facility November 21 to a warm reception of dignitaries and representatives of Wal-Mart, HEB and Kroger, along with Frontera Produce and Altobaso, S.A. officials. The Green Summer visited for an approximate 15-hour turnaround to Guatemala, returning the following Monday and repeating the process until May 2006. Contents of the vessel is expected to fill the remaining space in the cold storage warehouse.

Severino Stefani, owner of Altobaso, S.A. was on hand to view the melons being discharged from the vessel and placed into the Cold Storage Facility. “This voyage represents hope. I am just a farmer who looks towards the future with the hope that the Port of Corpus Christi will help my business flourish in the years to come,” said Mr. Stefani.

Frontera Produce is a premier source of melons, tropical fruits, onions, and ethnic commodities. While Mexican imports remain a significant part of Frontera’s business, they also continue to expand domestically and most recently began importing from Central and South America. Frontera offers a top-tier service portfolio including consolidation, forward distribution, repacking and superior QC inspection on every load. “We are excited to receive this cargo here at the Port of Corpus Christi as we consider the Port to be a vital link in our distribution chain and anticipate this trial season to be successful on all accounts,” said Will Steele of Frontera Produce.

“This is a historic event for the Port of Corpus Christi and its cold storage warehouse as we welcome melons from Guatemala and strengthen ties with our neighbors in Central America,” said Ruben Bonilla, Chairman of the Port of Corpus Christi. The Port of Corpus Christi Cold Storage is a state-of-the-art, 100,000 square foot refrigerated warehouse on the Texas Gulf of Mexico coast. From this strategic location it serves the American and world markets with excellent shipping, rail and highway connections. It boasts chilled and frozen space a short 60-feet from dockside, enclosed temperature-controlled rail and truck loading docks in a foreign trade zone.