For the second year running, SWARM attended the MAST (Maritime Advanced Systems and Technology) open house and technology exhibition at the Port of Hueneme. Not only is the event a great way to examine innovation up close, but the organisers also admit local high school students, making it a great educational opportunity, too. For those not familiar with the port, it is the only commercial deep water port between LA and San Francisco, and handles more than $9 billion in goods per year, making it a vital economic engine for Ventura County.
We picked up a great brochure on the Port of Hueneme that was packed with useful data on the imports/exports at the port. From a food perspective, three of its top five exports are produce: fresh apples & pears (nearly 20M tonnes), potatoes (17M tonnes), grapes (6.6M), and there are large quantities of cheese and curd, peaches, plums, oranges, and citrus, rice, milk and cream, sauces and condiments, and more. On the import side, banana’s rank as the largest import (even beating motor vehicles into second place), with 1.5B tonnes coming through the port in 2017. After motor vehicles, we then get pineapples/avocados/mangoes, fertilisers, melons & papayas, nitrates, tractors, frozen fruit and nuts, specialist machines for poultry, and even blueberries and cranberries (1.5M tonnes). Its trading partners are global, with South Korea doing $2.8B in total trade with the port in 2017, closely followed by Germany, the UK, Sweden, and Japan. Not surprisingly, there were an increasing number of agriculture firms in attendance this year!