Out of more than 40 vegetable crops grown in the Rio Grande Valley in the McAllen, TX, freight market, only three are hopeful to survive, according to Tom Karst from The Packer: onions, cabbages and potatoes.
Last week’s invasion of freezing Arctic air delivered the first subzero temperatures to cities across the Plains and Midwest where, temperatures have consistently been well above average in recent months.
There was a surge in produce imports last week, according to the USDA. Truckloads volumes are currently up 62% year over year, with just under 33,000 loads shipped compared to the 20,000 loads of domestic truckloads of produce.
The deeper we get into winter, the further south shippers go to meet U.S. demand for winter produce, which is why, at this time of the year, we start to see an increase in volume across the southern border from Mexico.
More capacity in the refrigerated sector is one possible outcome of the recent interim final rule published by the FMCSA, which clarifies agricultural commodity and livestock definitions in hours-of-service regulations.