Dole Extends its Lease with the Port of Wilmington

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Governor Jack Markell announced a multi million dollar land and warehouse lease extension between Dole Fresh Fruit Company and the Diamond State Port Corporation today that will keep Dole at the Port of Wilmington until 2025, securing 800 jobs in Delaware.

Dole Lease Extension Group Photo

Dole is a long-term tenant that has helped to position Wilmington as the leading port in North America for handling perishable cargo. This strong partnership which first began almost 30 years ago, will contribute significantly to the continued future growth and development of our Port.

Governor Jack Markell announced a multi million dollar land and warehouse lease extension between Dole Fresh Fruit Company (Dole) and the Diamond State Port Corporation (DSPC) today that will keep Dole at the Port of Wilmington and in the State of Delaware until 2025.

“We will keep doing everything we can to help businesses like Dole be successful in Delaware. This long lease secures more than 800 jobs at the Port, which keeps cargo moving and brings significant economic benefits to the region,” said Markell, who pointed out that Delaware is home to the world’s largest banana port , a designation Delaware would like to keep for many years ahead.

In 2009, Dole directed 57 ship-calls to Wilmington, Delaware and unloaded and loaded thousands of tons of tropical fruit and general cargo. A recent economic impact analysis by Martin & Associates for the Port of Wilmington credits Dole with generating over $45 million in annual business revenue, creating and sustaining more than 800 stable, good paying jobs and producing over $3.1 million per year in regional taxes. Over the life of this agreement Dole’s economic impact totals over $675 million in business revenue and $46.5 million in regional taxes.

“We are very pleased to extend our relationship with the Port of Wilmington, Delaware. It will allow Dole to continue growing our regional market-share through Wilmington and enjoy Delaware’s superior perishable supply-chain capabilities for the next 15 years,” said Joseph Tesoriero, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Dole Food Company. “From Wilmington, we can efficiently access major distribution centers as far as Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces of Canada in the north, and in the U.S. as far west as the Mississippi River and as far south as North Carolina,” he explained.

“On behalf of the DSPC board of directors, the executive staff and men and women working at the Port of Wilmington, I would like to congratulate and to thank Dole for this lease extension,” said Alan Levin, Director of Delaware Economic Development Office and Chairman of the DSPC. “Dole is a long-term tenant that has helped to position Wilmington as the leading port in North America for handling perishable cargo. This strong partnership which first began almost 30 years ago, will contribute significantly to the continued future growth and development of our Port.”

About Dole Food Company
Dole is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and vegetables and North America’s largest distributor of bananas and tropical fruit. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods. The Company does business in more than 90 countries and employs, on average, 36,000 full-time, regular employees and 23,000 full-time seasonal or temporary employees, worldwide.

About the Port of Wilmington, Delaware
Founded in 1923, the Port of Wilmington is a full service Mid-Atlantic seaport strategically located to provide overnight access to 200 million North American consumers. Wilmington ranks as the world’s top banana port, and the nations leading gateway for imports of fresh fruit and juice concentrates. An economic engine for the State of Delaware and the region, it is responsible for 18,900 jobs, $405 million in business revenue impact, and $28 million in annual local taxes. The Port is owned and operated by the Diamond State Port Corporation, a corporation of the State of Delaware.

About the Delaware Economic Development Office
The Delaware Economic Development Office is an executive state agency responsible for attracting new investors and businesses to the state, promoting the expansion of existing industry, assisting small and minority-owned businesses, promoting and developing tourism and creating new and improved employment opportunities for all citizens of the State. DEDO is a Certified Economic Development Organization, accredited by the International Economic Development Council. Visit dedo.delaware.gov.

Contact:

Vered Nohi-Becker
Diamond State Port Corp.
302-472-7819

Nikki Boone
Delaware Economic Development Office
302-672-6857

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