Apollo Freight has opened a 15,663-square-foot perishable center adjacent to Los Angeles International Airport. The facility, which is part of a new, 37,000-square-foot warehouse dedicated to the handling and storage of temperature-sensitive products, brings Los Angeles’ refrigeration capacity to more than 82,000 square feet.
LAX officials and local authorities hope the facility will help the city obtain market share in a sector dominated by Miami, which currently imports 69 percent of U.S.-bound produce. Capacity is certainly on Apollo Freight’s side, a company press release asserted, as the center is capable of handling 100 tonnes of perishables a day.
U.S. Congresswoman Janice Hahn, who was on hand for the November 28 ice-ribbon-smashing ceremony, praised the economic implications of the new center. “This is all about commerce and about trade, and that means jobs,” she said. What’s more, she remarked, the U.S. imports nearly one-third of its fruits and vegetables, with 20 percent of the nation’s food exports deemed perishable.
“We like to be able to have avocados and grapes on our tables, even when they’re not in season locally,” Hahn said. “That is exactly what this facility allows our families to do.”
Produce bound for Apollo Freight’s facility is immediately moved from a refrigerated truck to a temperature-controlled setting, according to the company press release; thus, it’s “more advantageous for importers to ship directly to Los Angeles instead of shipping goods to Miami and having them sent to the West Coast via refrigerated truck,” it stated.
Apollo Freight also X-rays and inspects all shipments, per the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s regulations. After all, Apollo Chief Operation Officer Ivo Skorin explains, taking every precaution to ensure cargo is secure and fresh is the company’s main priority.
“At any one time, we might have mangoes at 43 degrees, roses at 34 degrees and blueberries at 37 degrees,” Skorin said in a statement. “Whatever the optimum temperature is, that’s what we use to store them.”