An estimated 170,000 Mexican trucks hauling mostly fresh fruits and vegetables are expected to cross into the United States during 2016. These big rigs arrive from Mexico across the international bridges on the southern border and agricultural trade between the two countries has increased significantly the past 10 years.
Demand on inspectors at the Pharr, McAllen and Brownsville, Texas land ports is expected to increase in the future as the Mazatlan-Matamoros superhighway, also dubbed Supervia, is drastically changing the fresh produce industry in South Texas and in the U.S. Connecting Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico to Pharr and Brownsville, Texas, this new route for produce transportation provides a more direct route to receivers in the eastern half of the U.S from agriculture-rich regions in Mexico.
As a result multi-million dollar refrigerated storage facilities have opened in the McAllen-Edinburg area to accommodate the inflow of these fresh food products. However, Rio Grande Valley wholesalers and warehouse owners have complained a lack of agriculture inspectors at the border has dramatically increased inspection wait times.
As a result, the agriculture and transportation industry in South Texas is calling for more USDA inspectors, and they are wanting the state of Texas to pay for it. However, budget constraints has resulted in only a handful of additional inspectors being added.
Already the Texas Legislature authorized a $652,500 grant that should substantially reduce wait times at ports between Texas and Mexico. The grant requires matching funds, so collectively about $1.3 million will soon be available to add inspectors at land ports in South Texas to handle the elevated flow of fresh foods from Mexico.
Another problem, is that once Mexican produce has passed inspection and delivered to warehouses, significant delays are being reported. Often a truck will have to pick up partial loads at different warehouses, and too often the product is not ready for pick up, resulting is significant delays for truckers.
South Texas citrus, Mexican produce – grossing about $4000 to New York City.
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