Apollo Freight Opens Massive New Perishable Center to Handle 100 Tons of Produce Daily

Apollo Freight Opens Massive New Perishable Center to Handle 100 Tons of Produce Daily

November 28, 2011

(Los Angeles, Calif.) – Surrounded by grapes, tomatoes, asparagus, strawberries, roses and a wide array of other goods traveling to and from Los Angeles, U.S. Congresswoman Janice Hahn and Apollo Freight officials opened today a massive new perishable center – the size of six homes – adjacent to Los Angeles International Airport.

Ribbon Smash

Pictured from left to right: Victor Adducie, General Manager of Apollo Freight; Ivo Skorin, Chief Operating Office of Apollo Freight; Libby Williams Managing Director with the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; U.S. Congresswoman Janice Hahn and Joseph A. Czyzyk, Chairman & CEO of Mercury Air Group, parent company of Apollo Freight.


The state-of-the-art 15,663-square-foot facility (with temperature zones ranging from 45°F to 0°F) is part of a new 37,000-square-foot warehouse facility that boosts Los Angeles’ refrigeration capacity to more than 82,000 square feet – a key component in the battle to take market share from Miami, which currently imports 69 percent of perishable goods coming to the United States.

“This is all about commerce and about trade and that means jobs,” said Hahn. “The United States currently imports about 30 percent of its fruits and vegetables, and more than 20 percent of our food exports can be considered perishable. We like to be able to have avocados and grapes on our tables, even when they’re not in season locally. That is exactly what this facility allows our families to do.”

“From Mexican onions bound for London to California produce like tomatoes and strawberries headed for Hawaii, we handle it all, 24 hours a day, seven days a week 365 days a year,” said Ivo Skorin, Apollo Chief Operating Officer.

Apollo’s new facility, in conjunction with a similar on-airport refrigeration warehouse operated by its parent company, Mercury Air Group, makes Mercury L.A.’s largest perishable cargo handler. The new facility, on average, will handle 100 tons of produce daily with an estimated market value of $90 million annually.

Mercury Air Group CEO Joseph Czyzyk said he was committed to opening the new facility within the City of Los Angeles.

“I am bullish on Los Angeles,” he said. “The truth is, we could have opened this facility a few blocks away in Inglewood or down the street in Hawthorne, areas which are rapidly becoming off-airport hubs for air freight, but we didn’t. We kept to Mercury’s roots and opened this state-of-the-art facility right here within the city boundaries.”

Perishable products coming to Apollo Freight’s new facility are transferred directly from refrigerated trucks right into a climate-controlled setting without breaking the “cold chain,” making it more advantageous for importers to ship directly to Los Angeles instead of shipping goods to Miami and having them sent to the West Coast via refrigerated truck.

The perishable center took just under four months to build and was manufactured by Kol-Temp of Escondido. It includes four individual units to handle specific products at temperatures ranging from 0 to 43 degrees Fahrenheit.

“At any one time, we might have mangos at 43 degrees, roses at 34 degrees and blueberries at 37 degrees,” Skorin said. “Whatever the optimum temperature is, that’s what we use to store them.”

As a TSA-certified cargo screening facility, Apollo x-rays and inspects every shipment that comes through its doors in a temperature-controlled working, staging and screening environment, maintaining the cold chain and adhering to the highest food safety standards.

Founded less than two years ago, Apollo Freight has already become a leader in offering growers, shippers, exporters and importers a cost-effective, safe and efficient way to to move perishables to consumers in the United States, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Apollo works closely with such carriers as Cathay Pacific, Korean Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Pacific Air, Lufthansa, Air France-KLM, British Airways, All Nippon Airlines, and LAN Cargo, among others.

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