Posts Tagged “From Sprout to Store”

Keeping It Fresh: From Sprout to Store

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By Iyer Amruthur, Business Development Specialist, ALC San Antonio

Guanajuato, Michoacán, Puebla, Jalisco, and Sonora. What do these names all have in common, despite possibly being unknown to you as an average consumer?

They combine to account for most of the 31,900 hectares (98,595 acres) devoted by Mexico for broccoli farming. 70% of the product ends up being sold to primarily the U.S., followed by Canada, Japan, and some European countries as well.

It is also the main export of Guanajuato. So, why does this matter?  Just like you, I buy my broccoli from HEB here in Texas (although you may have a Kroger, Publix, or even Walmart in your areas). It’s one of the many year-round vegetables my family enjoys. And recently if you’ve caught the news, the weather has been pretty awful for us in Texas.

Inevitably, especially with border shipments, we see adverse weather throw hurdles into the logistics game. At times the border even shuts down, to the dismay of both the U.S. and Mexico. Some 16,000 trucks pass through the border town of Laredo, TX every day, and this accounts for 37% of all our trade between the U.S. and Mexico.

As you can guess, when those 16,000 trucks can’t move, it’s going to create some big delays! How does this affect you? Many people end up confused as to why weather in Texas causes some stores to run out of broccoli, hike prices, or have older product in places like Chicago.

While we have many sources of produce, our nation’s grocery stores aim to hit between the best price and the best quality which sometimes means an import! As you must have heard, not just Laredo, but most of Texas shut down its highways and freight came to a standstill. Even at my local HEB, you can see a reduced selection of fruits and vegetables at higher prices.

Grocery chains work hard to do whatever it takes to make sure you have what you need when you enter the store, and nothing exceeds the urgency of perishable goods. Here at ALC we work with our grocery customers to smooth things out. There are things we can do as a team, that are difficult to do from a company’s in-house logistics.

We can navigate the massive amounts of information, rescheduling, constantly shifting prices/supply of trucks, arrange transportation from other sources around the country and put it together in a fashion that provides an immediate solution. During poor weather conditions, 3PLS are some of the last doors that close, and with our expertise and resources, we can even provide solutions remotely.

Weather is Mother Nature’s way of throwing us curveballs and we strive to be able to react to our customers’ needs. Our goal is to ensure the consumer can count on fresh quality products available in their local stores no matter the weather in Texas or Chicago.


Iyer Amruthur is a business development specialist in the ALC San Antonio office and has two years of logistics experience. Iyer attended The University of Georgia where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, with a minor in Communications.

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