Hurricane Sandy disrupts northeastern distribution - The Packer

Hurricane Sandy disrupts northeastern distribution

10/30/2012 09:17:00 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

“Everything is still kind of moving now and shipments are still going,” Gilliland said Oct. 31. “We haven’t had any issues raised by any of our members saying they’re running into difficulty getting equipment. If equipment is kind of stuck and not moving, it will be a ripple effect and will either bunch-up or catch-up and be a time when things could get tight and rates might spike for a little then.”

Grower-shippers are seeing a stoppage of orders.

“With the markets being shut down and people not at work, a lot aren’t able to get back from the (Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2012) and it has been tough to communicate,” Matt Reel, director of sales for IMG Citrus Inc., Vero Beach, Fla., said Oct. 31.

The hurricane didn’t damage Boston’s New England Produce Market and the area’s restaurants and supermarkets escaped power outages and closings, said Bill Maheras, sales manager for Chelsea, Mass.-based J. Maheras Potato & Onion.

“There were a couple of places that had phones and Internet up and down a bit, but there wasn’t any direct damage,” he said Oct. 31. “Things just kind of slowed down for a few days because distribution centers weren’t going full-tilt.”

Waves as high as eight feet damaged Long Island and coastal areas surrounding the Bronx market.

“Long Island is a disaster,” Alfie Badalamenti, vice president of Coosemans New York Inc., said Oct. 30. “We have no power (in Long Island). Everyone got hit real bad. All the supermarkets are empty here, especially in Long Island. People bought everything from A-Z before the storm. If don’t have any power, they won’t buy any product. I am sure they will have to fill the stores again, so things should go back to normal.”

Southern New Jersey’s fall production regions escaped serious damage, despite the hurricane making landfall within 35 miles of the fields.

“We were up all night waiting for it to come through, but were so surprised and expected damage,” Jamie Graiff, partner and sales manager of Newfield, N.J.-based Daniel Graiff Farms LLC, said Oct. 31. ”The six to seven inches of rain damaged baby arugula and baby spinach fields, but the major crop areas didn’t get a lot of damage.”

Ryan Flaim of R&R Flaim Next Generation Produce LLC, Vineland, N.J., said the storm didn’t disrupt greens and vegetable harvests.

“We fared very well considering the conditions,” Flaim said Oct. 30.

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LA  |  October, 30, 2012 at 04:35 PM

Now the game : !

Kevin Maher    
Chelsea , Ma.  |  November, 01, 2012 at 08:56 AM

There were seven distributors in the New England Prouce Center who were without power , phones or internet for Tuesday and Wednesday after the storm came through. Coosemans Boston was one of them.

Rick VanVranken    
Mays Landing, NJ  |  November, 05, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Rumors from the field indicate some produce buyers are leaving NJ, but in surveying our greater Vineland farms, our greens, lettuces and herbs escaped unscathed, except for a few fields of baby greens that were just too small and tender to stand the winds. Not to worry! There's a lot of quality Jersey Fresh produce still available and the harvest will continue until we get a hard frost or heavy snow.

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