Cargo Of Bananas Stuck In New Jersey Port, Going Rotten Due To Dispute

A cargo of bananas carrying 110,000 cartons filled with overripe fruit is stuck in a New Jersey port thanks to a dispute between the shipping company and Del Monte.

The legal battle between Del Monte and the Netherlands-based shipping company Seatrade Group started earlier this week when Del Monte filed a $1.5 million suit claiming the cargo showed up to a New Jersey port brown and “no longer fit for human consumption.”

The legal notice said the bananas arrived “in a distressed state of ripe and turning” and that the fruit would have had to be “sold at discount, dumped, donated or otherwise destroyed.”

Del Monte argued in U.S. District Court in New Jersey that the shipping company failed to keep the cargo of bananas at a proper temperature, causing them to get over-ripe during the trip from Guatemala.

The bananas arrived in what was known as a “reefer ship,” meaning it had the ability to keep its contents refrigerated or frozen. But when workers unloaded the cargo of bananas on Monday, they found that two of the three compartments had ripened too much.

Jay Jones, director of the South Jersey Port in Camden, said he couldn’t remember a similar dispute in his 20 years working at the port.

“The fruit that comes in here is the fruit that goes straight to supermarkets,” Jones said. “I don’t recall ever an issue like this.”

The rotting cargo of bananas isn’t the only strange story involving a surprise shipment of fruit. Earlier this year, grocery store employees opened up boxes of bananas and discovered that there was actually a shipment of 100 kilograms of cocaine inside. Police investigated the shipment but weren’t able to make any arrests.

A judge in New Jersey has ordered the over-ripe cargo of bananas to be held in port until the dispute is settled.

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