Friday, February 3, 2012

Dole, Port of San Diego Finalizing New Lease

The Dole Food Co., which had been considering a move from the Port of San Diego to the Port of Hueneme up the California coast, has apparently decided to stay put.

The company, which for most of the past decade has been the San Diego port’s biggest tenant, says it is in talks to remain at the port.

Dole began a 20-year lease with San Diego in 2002, but is eligible to break its lease this year. Representatives for both Dole and the port said this week, however, that Dole has formally stated its intention to remain at the port.

Dole, which is the port’s only container tenant, imports an estimated 185 million bananas every month. About 100,000 TEUs of Dole produce, mostly bananas and pineapples, moved through the port’s 10th Avenue Marine Terminal in the last fiscal year. That produce accounted for about 82 percent of the port’s cargo tonnage last year, according to port officials.

Port officials say a deal for a 25-year lease extension isn’t yet done, but that negotiations are expected to be complete by the end of March.

The Port of San Diego is Dole’s sole entryway into the US market. Shipments to and from Ecuador depart every seven to eight days.