The Board of Port Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday, August 14, granting Dole Fresh Fruit Company a 24.5-year lease to import and export fresh fruit at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.
Dole began its operations at the Port of San Diego in 2002, after moving here from the Port of Los Angeles. Through this new lease, Dole has chosen the Port of San Diego to remain its West Coast hub for operations. As a result, San Diego will retain a Fortune 500 company that brings significant economic benefits to the region.
Dole is a major anchor tenant at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal and directly and indirectly employs 78 people, including local union mechanics, clerks, as well as hundreds of truck drivers.
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"This long term lease affirms the Port's strong relationship with Dole Fresh Fruit Company," said Lou Smith, Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. "As an international company, Dole's continued presence here also underscores the significance of the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal for cargo operations and regional economic vitality including jobs with family-sustaining wages."
The Port and Dole Fresh Fruit Company held a brief lease signing ceremony immediately following the Board's approval. Stuart Jablon, Vice President of Operations for Dole, signed a ceremonial document with Chairman Smith to acknowledge the historical lease agreement.
"Today's agreement benefits Dole Fresh Fruit Company, the Port and the region," said Jablon. "We are pleased to be able to provide an economic boost to the region and at the same time, improve air quality around the terminal."
Under the terms of the lease agreement, the Port and Dole will work together on infrastructure improvements that will improve cargo operations at the Port, and improve the environment for the neighboring community. The Port will be investing approximately $7 million in shore power equipment at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal that will service Dole's vessels, as required by new California Air Resources Board regulations. The vessels will use shore power while berthed at Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, thereby reducing their diesel emissions.
The new lease extends Dole's operating area to a warehouse offsite of the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. This will eliminate truck staging and off-terminal operations from nearby residential areas.
Dole Fresh Fruit Company is a division of Dole Food Company, the largest importer of bananas and the second largest importer of pineapples to North America. The company has operations in 90 countries and over 75,000 full time and seasonal employees. The Port of San Diego is Dole's first stop for fresh fruit that is moving into the U.S. from South America. The Port receives approximately 95,000 twenty-foot containers of Dole fruit each year.
About the Port:
The Port of San Diego is the fourth largest of the 11 ports in California and one of only 17 strategic ports in the United States. It was created by the state legislature in 1962. Since then, it has invested millions of dollars in public improvements in its five member cities Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego.
The port oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 17 public parks, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of more than 600 tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.
The Port of San Diego is an economic engine, an environmental steward of San Diego Bay and the surrounding tidelands, and a provider of community services and public safety.