One of the world’s largest owners and operators of temperature-controlled facilities and infrastructure, Americold Realty Trust, has acquired privately held PortFresh Holdings, a temperature-controlled operator servicing fresh produce trade primarily through the Port of Savannah.
In connection with its acquisition of PortFresh, Americold plans to build a new 15 million cubic foot state-of-the-art cold storage facility on adjacent land owned by PortFresh. Total cost of the acquisition, including about 163 acres of contiguous land, is around $35 million. Cost of the planned new build is expected to be $55 million to $65 million. Americold financed the acquisition with cash on hand and expects to pay for the development from available capital resources.
“The Port of Savannah is one of the fastest-growing ports in the United States and has seen increased traffic of temperature-controlled trade,” said Fred Boehler, president and chief executive officer of Americold Realty Trust.
“With this investment, Americold is fulfilling our customers’ requests to expand into this growing market, which provides an efficient and cost-effective solution to meet their import and export needs,” he said. “We believe this development project represents a significant long term growth opportunity for the company, as we continue to grow our scale and develop our partnership with the Port of Savannah.”
The planned new facility will feature 37,000 pallet positions, advanced blast freezing capabilities, and space and infrastructure to support refrigerated-containerized trade. Americold expects to begin construction on the new facility in the first half of 2019, with the opening expected to be in the first quarter of 2020.
The Port of Savannah imported 1.8 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) of containerized cargo in 2017, a 10.6% increase over 2016, making it the nation’s fourth-largest port, as reported by the 2018 US Ports Report from Descartes Datamyne. This port continues to expand and has a stated strategy to double its storage capacity with its partners in the next 10 years.
“The Georgia Ports Authority is pleased to welcome Americold to the Savannah market,” said Griff Lynch, GPA executive director. “This announcement represents yet another expansion of Savannah’s position as a hub for the handling of cold and chilled cargoes, and complements the port’s continued on-terminal development of refrigerated cargo infrastructure.”
Brian Kastick, PortFresh’s founder and CEO, has joined Americold with this acquisition and will help to grow the company’s fresh produce business initiatives.
See www.americold.com for more details.