The long awaited completion of the Mazatlan-Durango Highway offers fresh produce shippers an easier way to move product from Sinaloa to the McAllen, Texas, area.
The opening of the $2.1 billion highway, more than a decade under construction, was marked by Mexican authorities in an Oct. 17 ceremony.
“It’s going to make us more efficient,” said Steve Yubeta, vice president of sales for Nogales, Ariz.-based Farmer’s Best International.
“It will be a quicker transit time between our packing shed and our Edinburg, Texas, facility.”
Raleigh, N.C.-based L&M Cos. Inc., which plans for the first time to offer some of its West Mexico fresh produce items in McAllen this winter, is another shipper that stands to benefit from the highway.
“We’re excited about venturing over there with some of our products and supplying our customers through that Texas corridor,” said Greg Cardamone, general manager of vegetables for L&M Cos.
“With the new road in place it looks like it will be good for our customers and growers as well.”
L&M plans to offer roma tomatoes in McAllen starting in December and add bell peppers and cucumbers as well. The shipper will operate out of a third-party warehouse in Texas.
“We haven’t confirmed a warehouse yet,” Cardamone said Nov. 11.
“But we will have product available over there this season. We’ve already had a couple of customers commit to make some purchases if we’ll ship to Texas.”
The route is about 143 miles and has 63 tunnels.