Dole May Leave Wilmington For New Port

A port being built on the Delaware River in southern New Jersey is looking to take a bunch of business from North America's largest banana port.

The Dole Fresh Fruit Co. is considering relocating one ship a week, or 3.4 billion bananas a year, from the Port of Wilmington to the not-yet-finished Port of Paulsboro.

A Dole vice president of operations, Stuart Jablon, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that New Jersey has offered some “very financially appealing” tax-incentive credits.

The port in Wilmington, Del., does a good job for Dole, “but at the same time, Paulsboro is willing to build us a brand-new port with all the bells and whistles that new ports have,” he told the newspaper.  

The Paulsboro port is directly across from Philadelphia International Airport.

Getting the Dole business would create 100 or more jobs in New Jersey.

Dole's lease in nearby Wilmington, where Chiquita Brands also sails weekly, is up in 2015, when the Paulsboro port is scheduled for completion.

Delaware and its Diamond State Port Corp. are also working to retain Dole's business.

Delaware lawmakers have approved $31 million for port improvements, and union concessions have been sought.

Alan Levin, port corporation chairman and Delaware's economic development director, told the Inquirer that one longshoremen's union agreed earlier this year to a pay cut and wage freeze and a second one has been asked to consider both work-rule changes and a wage concession or freeze.

The South Jersey Port Corp., which is developing the Paulsboro port, has had discussions with a number of potential tenants but the Dole talks are the furthest along, Kevin Castagnola, the corporation's CEO, told the South Jersey Times.
The Paulsboro port is located at the site of a former BP oil terminal and Dow Chemical plant.


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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