Posts Tagged “produce transportation”

More Ag Inspectors for Mexican Imports at Pharr, Tx

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DSCN7161An 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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A Majority of Imported Mexican Produce Enters at Pharr, Tx Bridge

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DSCN6961Nearly 60 percent of the fresh produce imported from Mexico crosses the City of Pharr (TX) International Bridge.

Being the only full service commercial bridge in the region, means more and better services, infrastructure and technology to get produce loads processed at point of entry, before being unloaded at one of dozens of warehouses in the area.

The Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge  is one of the most important U.S.-Mexican border ports of entry and is experiencing phoenominal growth in traffic.  No end to growth is in sight.

The City of Pharr has a project that is still in the design phase known as the Border Safety Inspection Facility Connector (BSIF).   This project will allow certified companies, vetted by the federal government, along with empty trucks, to bypass the importation process.  The goal is to be more efficient by reducing wait times and speed up the inspection process.  The project is expected to be completed late this year.

Mondays and Fridays are the busiest, and most congested days, at the Pharr Bridge.

The Pharr Bridge ranks number one in volume for truck loads of avocados and number two in tomatoes for Mexican produce to be distributed mostly throughout the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada.

Due to the new Mazatlan-Matamoros super highway, also dubbed Supervía, travel for trucks hauling produce and entering the Pharr port of entry can save as much as 600 to 700 miles of travel when delivering to Midwest and eastern U.S. and Canadian markets.  Connecting Mazatlán and Sinaloa, Mexico to Pharr, Texas, this new route for produce transportation provides a more direct route to receivers.  It also saves $1000 to $3000 in fuel costs, depending on the price of diesel, and nearly 16 hours in travel time round-trip.

The state of Sinaloa is what some call the breadbasket of Mexico with about 70 to 80 percent of Mexican fruits and vegetables originating from this state.   Pharr, Tx has seen a significant rise in the number of importers and brokers who are based in Arizona, but are opening satellite facilities in Texas.

Lower Rio Grande Valley citrus and Mexican produce crossing the border – grossing about $2400 to Atlanta.

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Truck Broker-Shipper Model Agreement is Released

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DSCN5232by Transportation Intermediaries Association

Orlando, FL – The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) is pleased to announce the release of the TIA & United Fresh Produce Association’s joint Broker-Shipper contract. This is the latest model contract offered exclusively to TIA members. All of TIA model contracts are exclusive to TIA members and can be found under the member’s only section of the TIA website.

The two organizations began working on the model agreement over six months ago with a small working group consisting of members of both organizations. On the importance of the model agreement and both organizations working together, TIA and United Fresh member Kenny Lund notes:

“Shippers and logistics companies worked together to create a model contract that is fair to both parties.  Now, United Fresh Produce Association and TIA have taken it to the next level by adapting the model contract for produce transportation.  Once again it is a balanced and it will save member companies time and money when they use it”

“I am very proud of the time commitment by members of both associations to put this model contract together.  The level of expertise in the working groups was impressive and has led to a helpful document.”

TIA member James Lee, Vice President, Legal Affairs for Choptank Transport speaks about the importance of TIA and United Fresh Produce Association creating this model agreement:

“In today’s age, transportation contracts are a necessity.   As produce is an exempt commodity, and produce transportation is unregulated per se, the importance of United Fresh Produce Association and TIA coming together to create a fair and ethical model contract to be used by both shippers and logistics providers cannot be stressed enough.  I am proud to be even a small part of the membership from both organizations who contributed their time, energy, and expertise in order to make this happen.”

In addition to the TIA-United Fresh Produce Association Broker-Shipper model agreement, TIA is pleased to announce updated versions of the Co-broker, Broker-IMC, and Broker-Forwarder model agreements.

TIA Contracts Subcommittee Chairman Chip Smith, Chief Operating Officer for Bay and Bay Transportation speaks about the importance of TIA developing these model contracts.

“TIA model contracts help level the playing field for the contracting parties by eliminating over-reaching clauses commonly promoted by one side or the other while comprehensively covering all the critical contract elements. By promoting industry best practices, we help advance the professionalism and fair trade for all.”

Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA)

TIA is the professional organization of the $162 billion third party logistics industry. TIA is the only organization exclusively representing transportation intermediaries of all disciplines doing business in domestic and international commerce. TIA is the voice of transportation intermediaries to shippers, carriers, government officials and international organizations.

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