U.S. truck rates and availability see relief amid lower produce movement

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U.S. truck rates and availability see relief amid lower produce movement

Although diesel prices and freight rates remain high, truck rates and truck availability out of several major growing areas, including much of California, saw some relief last week, according to the USDA.

In a Jan. 28 report, the USDA said winter weather continues to contribute to lower movement volumes domestically, both by reducing consumer demand for fresh produce as well as by limiting harvest maturity of some crops in the Southeastern U.S.

The news media continues to report on various measures being undertaken at seaports nationwide to reduce port delays in unloading, along with the crowding caused by empty containers.

There are some media reports that the Omicron variant may have reached its peak in certain areas, but consumers have yet to react by returning to regular restaurant or shopping patterns, the report said.

Blueberry movement

The report also spoke about blueberry movement in the U.S. market. It said that Mexican crossings through Arizona, California, and Texas movement expected about the same.

Trading was very active early but only active later with limited competition from Chilean fruit. Prices were generally unchanged with quality and condition reported as variable.

Movement of Chilean blueberries via boat through the various East Coast and West Coast ports of entry is expected to increase as harvesting increases in Chile. Trading on east coast ports of entry is moderate, and prices are unchanged.

Supplies entering the west coast ports remain light with fairly active trading. Movement of Peruvian imports of blueberries arriving through both the Philadelphia and New York City areas and through Southern California ports via boat is expected to decrease as the season nears its end.

Trading was active for light supplies, with remaining supplies in too few hands to establish a market. The last reports have been issued for both ports of entry.

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