With its hiring of Mauro Suazo as head of reefer logistics business development for North America, Damco believes it’s signaling its strong ambitions toward moving into the U.S. and surrounding markets.

Suazo, an agricultural economist by training who brings 35 years experience as a grower, business owner, packer and shipper of fresh produce, will be charged with driving Damco’s solution design for the company’s refrigerated supply chain customers throughout North America, in addition to being a leader in supporting Damco’s produce customers, according to a release from the company.

Suazo initially will be focused on working with customers within fresh produce markets, but will collaborate with business leaders, port authorities and global partners in creating new markets and looking for competitive advantages for customers.

“This hire is a reflection of our ambition to continue to develop customer centric solutions that will sustain and develop our customers’ competitiveness in the long run,” Jens Wessel, vice president of Damco sales in North America, said in the release. “(Suazo’s) expertise will assist Damco’s customers in not only the physical movement of their goods, but working with them on strategic sourcing initiatives, distribution strategies and expanding their global customer base.”

Suazo has been president of the Honduran Melon Exporters Association for several years and was founder and first president of the Latin America Confederation of Melon and Watermelon Exporters.