Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2019.
The Philadelphia / Wilmington/ Gloucester port cluster is the most important concentration of reefer activity in the United States, particularly for fruit imports from Latin America. The Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, operated by Holt Logistics, is a container terminal facility handling around 350,000 TEUs per year on a 42-hectare facility. About 50% of all the containers handled by the terminal are reefers, which is a very high proportion compared to an average of around 5%. This underlines the importance of cold chain logistics, with the terminal having more than 2,200 reefer plugs. Such a number is usually found in the refrigerated capacity available for a 2 million TEU terminal. Four new super post-Panamax cranes were delivered in early 2019, which allows the terminal to handle ships up to 12,000 TEUs. The ship depicted in the above photo is the Hammonia Husum, a geared containership of 2,500 TEUs that is dominantly used for carrying reefers between Latin America and the US East Coast and Europe.