PhilaPort Gets the Cargo – Helps Bring Investment to Pennsylvania

PhilaPort Lands New Cargo from Fresh Quality Produce Trading and helps attract the Company’s Headquarters to the Commonwealth

Philadelphia, July 27, 2020 —

Gideão Guilherme knew he wanted to enter the US market, but his key question was, where? Which port should he use as a gateway for his high-quality Brazilian produce, and which state should he pick as his US headquarters? After examining multiple US ports, and considering several investment packages from various states, he chose PhilaPort and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PhilaPort staff in the US and Brazil worked with him to bring his cargo to The Port of Philadelphia, and they coordinated with state and local officials to headquarter Guilherme’s company, Fresh Quality Produce Trading (“FQPT), in Pennsylvania.

The short-term result is 30 containers of ginger arriving via Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in 2020 and more in the years to come. Bananas and other fruits and vegetables are likely additional cargoes. PhilaPort staff will also work with him on potential export cargoes, to sell in Brazil. And he will hire employees for his US office in Philadelphia, which will manage the US east coast, mid-west and eastern Canada.

“Carlos and Joe gave me contacts to potential buyers and information on logistics.  And they set up a very productive meeting with the different government agencies. I chose Pennsylvania because PhilaPort took the time to make me feel comfortable, and because of the Pennsylvania investment programs,” Guilherme said, referring to PhilaPort Brazil Representative Carlos Cappellano and PhilaPort Marketing Manager Joe Fox.

When most people think of “the port,” they picture what happens on the docks – longshoremen moving cargo on and off a ship.  While that is an important part of what a port does, an effective port authority is much more than that.

“We are an economic development agency,” said Jeff Theobald, PhilaPort’s Executive Director and CEO, the independent Commonwealth authority that manages and promotes Pennsylvania’s maritime commerce along the Delaware River. “We support over 10,000 jobs, which will go up to 17,000 after our new construction is finished next year. In addition, the cargo coming through the port generates $457 million in business revenue and $100 million in tax revenue to state and local governments.”

A third form of economic development Theobald lists is inbound investment. Companies from around the world that choose to locate in Pennsylvania because of the port. “Businesses have a lot of choices on where to invest. Manufacturers, retailers, and logistics firms look at transportation as a key factor in making their corporate location decisions. Having a major port, as we do in Philadelphia, is a real magnet for investment,” he said. When a company invests in Pennsylvania, it creates waves of benefits: jobs, purchasing of supplies, tax revenues, new products, and services for US consumers and – hopefully – exports.

“FQPT wanted the best produce port, and of course they had heard about Philadelphia,” said Carlos Cappellano, who has worked for PhilaPort for 25 years. The Delaware River is the #1 produce port complex in the USA. “We were able to explain Philly’s advantages, especially as a food port.”

Cappellano is based in Sao Paulo and is expert in both Brazilian and US logistics. He was able to speak to Guilherme in Portuguese, which facilitated communication. He and his Marketing colleague Joe Fox also sent lists of logistics service companies, including warehousing and trucking companies, and made introductions as requested.

During their initial conversations, Guilherme mentioned that he was considering opening an office in the US, so Fox gave him some information on investing in Pennsylvania and arranged a teleconference with Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development / Office of International Business Development, which offers incentives for businesses to set up shop in the Commonwealth. Also on the call were officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the City of Philadelphia’s Office of International Business.

David Briel of DCED/OIBD realizes the port is an attraction for potential investors. “We reach out to PhilaPort when a customer asks about shipping or port issues,” he said. “Manufacturers and distribution companies usually want to know about a region’s major logistics hubs, such as seaports.”

FQPT has an FDA license and experience with banana exports to the US; they were ready to try ginger exports. “Ginger provides many health benefits – it has been shown to have a positive effect on immune systems, for example.  We have a more flavorful product, and we don’t use chemicals in the production, which is a big advantage,” Guilherme stated.  Starting with a sales and management office, FQPT plans to eventually open their own warehouse in Pennsylvania.

With a new Philadelphia office and with PhilaPort’s help, Guilherme is excited about FQPT’s success in the US market.  And PhilaPort staff are looking forward to the cargo growth.



Container Lines with service from PhilaPort to Brazil:

            • Hamburg Sud
            • Hapag Lloyd
            • ONE Line

Contact for more information.


PRPA Logo (516)PhilaPort, The Port of Philadelphia, is an independent agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania charged with the management, maintenance, marketing and promotion of publicly-owned port facilities along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, as well as strategic planning throughout the port district.  PhilaPort works with its terminal operators to modernize, expand and improve its facilities, and to market those facilities to prospect port users.  Port cargoes and the activities they generate are responsible for thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the Philadelphia area and throughout Pennsylvania.