Valley produce companies recovering from shipping delays
Valley produce companies are scrambling to restart now that additional truck inspections at ports of entry have been halted.
Two companies say shipments are arriving on time, but they've still taken some financial hits.
Traffic at the border is back to a more normal pace, but for produce companies, it’s not business as usual—at least not yet.
“Now with the normal entry, it’ll take a week or two for the prices to stabilize,” said Mario Garcia of Majef Produce. “Some prices will drop, other ones will stay the same. Now there’s more volume, and obviously, when you have more volume, you have to lower the price.
Shipments for one local vegetable wholesaler, Amore Produce, are still entering Texas through alternate routes.
“They’re crossing in the average time, two to three hours,” said Rolando Garza, a business developer with Amore Produce. “Of course, we are still using the Roma port of entry, it’s a little bit quicker at this time, but we’re doing good now.”
Garza says the business took a small hit, saying they had to sell vegetables that were affected by shipping delays at a 10 to 15 percent discount.
Amore Produce wasn't the only produce company that saw a drop in quality.
“The limes have to come in really green, but we got some that had turned yellow from being in the trucks too long,” said Garcia. “We have to push them out and sell them at the price we get them at. When you do that, it doesn't leave you any profit. If we don't sell them, they will just get rotten. “
Both produce companies say things are looking up, with Garza saying they've grown from these problems.
“What we learned is we need to find U.S. Customs brokers in a different port of entry and, of course, we need to find a better Mexican customs broker on the Mexican side to have options in the future,” Garza said.