Philadelphia Regional Port Authority Conducts Three-Day Mexican Inbound Trade Mission to Grow Trade and Promote Innovative New Shipping Service

MITM 2016
Mexican Inbound Trade Mission, Opening Reception: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 – (L to R) Tom Mutz, Penn Warehousing; Tim Brown, Horizon Stevedoring; Dionisio Cos, Friopuerto Veracruz; Manuel Cabrera-Kabana, FrioPuerto S.L.; David Apseloff, AGRO Merchants Group; Sean Mahoney, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority; Maria Cisneros, Suro International Importers; David Ponce, Amazon Produce Network; Neal Rider, AGRO Merchants Group

June 24, 2016

Philadelphia, PA –

The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) is pleased to announce that it is already enjoying positive developments and generating useful leads as a result of its recent three-day trade mission to help grow trade between Pennsylvania, the U.S. Northeast, Canada and Mexico, via the new SeaLand Atlantico Service, which calls at the Port’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal.

The trade mission, conducted Tuesday, June 14 through Thursday, June 16, was organized by the PRPA Marketing Department and held at Philadelphia’s Society Hill Sheraton Hotel. It brought Mexican produce growers and meat packers together with buyers from throughout the United States. In addition, officials of PRPA, Holt Logistics LLC (operators of PRPA’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal), SeaLand, USDA, US Customs, and the Mexican Consulate gave presentations. Private transportation service providers, the trade group Ship Philadelphia First, and other relevant parties also attended.

One-on-One Business Meetings held on Day 3 of the Trade Mission (6-16-16)

Surpassing expectations, the number attending the event was 134, and included 40 representatives from Mexico.

“While a large aim of our trade mission was to promote the new SeaLand Service and its ability to serve the needs of shippers moving cargo, particularly perishables, from Mexico to the U.S. Northeast, we wanted to start by simply bringing growers and buyers together, because that is a useful thing for everybody,” said PRPA Director of Marketing Sean Mahoney. “Already we have received numerous comments from attendees on how valuable they found the trade mission, and how much business they conducted during the one-on-one meetings that were a key component of the event.”

With a structure in place to advance traditional business operations between Mexican growers and regional buyers in Pennsylvania and through the U.S. Northeast, the trade mission then undertook a key secondary mission: changing minds about how cargo can move between Mexico and the U.S. Northeast, and how a new shipping service at the Port of Philadelphia could be the main tool in making shippers think in new ways.

Specifically, the Port’s weekly SeaLand Atlantico service, which commenced earlier this year following its announcement by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf in February, stands out among the Port of Philadelphia’s many other shipping services in that it targets cargoes that have traditionally moved via truck between Mexico and the U.S. Northeast, in particular perishable cargoes. Thus far, the service has shown promise in the form of growing cargo volumes, but port and business officials here wanted to better publicize the new service to the regional shipping community. Hence, the three-day Mexican Inbound Trade Mission was developed so that a portion of the event could be given over to introducing the service to its many attendees.

SeaLand’s Atlantico service connects the Mexican ports of Veracruz and Altamira with the Port of Philadelphia, moving cargoes such as avocados, limes and meat, as well as a variety of other commercial cargoes. The all-water transit to the Port of Philadelphia eliminates the traditional truck transport of these cargoes, bringing about many benefits, including the following:

  • Improved supply chain integrity, as cargo no longer has to be transloaded at the US/Mexico border in Texas prior to moving to inland US locations
  • Increased cargo payload on an all-water service versus an all-motor or motor/rail combination
  • Elimination of cargo damage to perishables and other retail cargoes due to road vibrations
  • Significantly reduced CO2 emissions result by moving cargo via all-water rather than truck
  • Reduced highway congestion, as fewer trucks will be moving these cargoes
  • Great connectivity: The Port of Philadelphia’s superior highway and rail connections will speed Mexican cargoes to their final destinations once they arrive at the Port
Opening Breakfast/Networking Opportunity held on Day 2 of the Trade Mission (6-15-16)

In addition to presentations and one-on-one business meetings (a particularly successful part of the trade mission) there were also dinners, general networking events, and tours of Port facilities and private warehouses, including the many businesses of the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market.

Among those giving high marks to the three-day event were notable Mexican broker and freight forwarder Fernando M. Barrenechea, and Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia Carlos Giralt Cabrales. In particular, Mr. Barrenechea noted that he regularly attends major produce conferences around the world and found PRPA’s event more valuable.

“I’m very proud of what our team here at PRPA put together,” said Mr. Mahoney.  “We conducted a very solid event to facilitate and promote Pennsylvania/Mexico trade in general, which also functioned as a strong tool to introduce and promote our new SeaLand Atlantico service, which we hope will soon be a major component of that trade. Here at the Port we talk a lot about the public/private partnership formula and its many benefits, and we think the Port’s new SeaLand service is a great example of that. This new service can do so much to grow trade, create jobs, and even improve the environment.”

See more coverage of the Mexican Inbound Trade Mission:

For more information about SeaLand Atlantico or to request that your business be contacted when future events are conducted, contact

PRPA Marketing Department
Tel: (215) 426-2600

The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) 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. PRPA works with its terminal operators to modernize, expand, and improve it facilities, and to market those facilities to prospective 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.