Over the last two decades, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) created new rules that opened the door for previously restricted fruit and vegetable imports. Now, treatments to make the imports safe for consumption are helping to meet the increasing consumer demand for year-round produce. These new treatments, most notably cold treatments, are bringing more commercial real estate opportunities to U.S. ports.

For U.S. fruit and vegetable imports, cold treatment has become a game changer. Storing produce in cold temperatures — about 38 degrees (just above freezing) — for 17 to 21 days kills pests and pathogens, making fruits and vegetables safe for consumption. And, thanks to intermodal shipping containers that can maintain uninterrupted temperatures, produce is shipped from various countries year-round. But without refrigerated facilities to store the containers, cold treatment would not be a successful solution.

Download the Colliers Summer 2019 Food Industry Report for more on which ports are growing to fill this need and how this trend will continue to shape the coastal commercial real estate markets.