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Customer Spotlight: Camden International Commodities Terminals Cocoa imports soar at South Jersey Port amid the pandemic recession

The economy is changing and consumers are shopping differently. But while the pandemic is plunging the global economy into a recession, the South Jersey Port Corporation’s cocoa bean imports soared 15 to 20 percent as house-bound, virus-weary Americans comfort themselves with rich, delicious, soothing chocolate.  

“Chocolate is recession-proof and the future forecast for chocolate and cocoa imports look even more promising,” said Jeff Wheeler, Chief Operating Officer of Camden International Commodities Terminals (CICT), which imports its cocoa beans through the SJPC terminals, the bedrock of the Port of Philadelphia’s cocoa bean business.

U.S. imports of cocoa beans increased 6.7% through the first six months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data.

SJPC’s soaring cocoa bean imports contribute in large part to the total Philadelphia Ports increase which rose 13.9% to $502.8 million, solidifying the ports’ status as the nation’s top cocoa bean importer.  

The success of the SJPC’s cocoa bean business is the result of decades-long experience and expert handling of a sensitive cargo and a strong partnership with Camden International Commodities Terminals.

“The virus and the recession have turned up the stress levels and chocolate has always been a great, medication-free, inexpensive stress reliever,” Wheeler added. “But we’re looking beyond the pandemic to when the economy bounces back and we are planning for far greater growth and greater opportunities for CICT and SJPC.”