It’s been a miserable two weeks in much of America with horrendous weather. Trucking is difficult enough without the record breaking low temperatures, snow and ice. Hang in there another month and spring will be here, with warmer weather and increasing volumes of fresh produce.
Here is a glimpse at potential loading opportunities from two of the most active states.
Thanks to imports of vegetables and tropical fruits from Mexico, the Lower Rio Grande Valley is one of the best shots at getting loaded.
The city of McAllen has over 200 produce companies such as Valley Fresh Produce Inc., Tricar Sales Inc. and Star Produce.
There are 1750 truckloads of avocados crossing the border from Mexico each week. Other leading volume items range from limes, to watermelons, broccoli, cucumbers, bell peppers, strawberries and tomatoes.
Last week South Texas produce companies were experiencing power outages along with much of the rest of the state. Use of generators was common among produce warehouses. Damage to vegetable and citrus crops are being assessed in the Lower Rio Grande Valley due to freezing temperatures. However, domestic volume pales in comparison to Mexican imports.
The other major crossing for Mexican imports it at Nogales, which has nearly 200 produce companies such as Frank’s Distributing of Produce LLC and The Sykes Co.
Mixed loads often requiring multiple picks at various warehouses (similar to McAllen) is pretty much standard procedure here.
Heaviest volume may be with tomatoes led by vine ripes with lesser amounts of grapes and plums averaging about 1150 truck loads a week. There’s also good volume with squash led by zucchini, along with a half a dozen other varieties and totaling over 750 truckloads weekly.
Other available items range from bell peppers (750 truckloads a week) to cucumbers, and watermelon, among others.
In Yuma, AZ companies such as D’Arrigo Bros. of California and Growers Express LLC are shipping lettuce and other vegetables. All together, various Yuma shippers are loading about 400 truckloads weekly of head lettuce and romaine.
Truck rates from Nogales have been all over the board – grossing from $5000 to $7000 to Chicago.
Yuma rates are up generally but not nearly as much – grossing about $8200 to New York City.