Perishables Market Expanding in Houston


Port Houston hosted its second Perishables Round Table Dec. 15 at the port’s Executive Building. The seminar gained interest back in September of 2016 when the port’s trade development team developed the framework for a new industry event featuring refrigerated cargo products and trends.

“We wanted to highlight some of Houston’s reefer capacity, challenges and opportunities, and the forum has become a quarterly meeting to gather leaders from the perishables industry to share insights, observations and their impact to the region,” said Ricardo Arias, Trade Development Manager for Port Houston.

Barrett Larkey, sales manager for Preferred Freezer Services of Houston (PFS), gave an overview of the history of their facilities and services in the greater Houston region. PFS is an international company that designs, builds and creates cold storage facilities. “These cold storage spaces and refrigerated warehouses are driven by customer demand,” said Larkey.

Leslie Luzkowski, Area Deputy Port Director for Customs Border Protection and her colleagues from Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) attended and answered questions and concerns from the market – from the port’s fumigation capacity, container lotting, connectivity and reporting, pest identifiers, samples, overtime authorizations and risk assessments.

“This Round Table would not be possible without the support of CBP and USDA, who facilitate the clearance process of these goods through the port, as well as those involved in the supply chain from the product growers to the retailers,” added Arias.

The port is currently pursuing a new refrigerated cargo facility at its Bayport Container Terminal.

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