UPDATED: Snowstorm causes few problems for Northeast distributors

01/21/2014 02:11:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Hunts Point Terminal Market(UPDATED COVERAGE, Jan. 23) Northeastern wholesalers escaped serious distribution problems after a major storm dumped more than a foot of snow on the region.

The Jan. 21-22 storm swept through the Eastern Seaboard from the mid-Atlantic to New England disrupted air and road traffic and closed restaurants, stores and schools and primarily slowed sales, wholesalers report.

On the Hunts Point Terminal Market in the Bronx, the storm cut business in half, said market co-chairman Matthew D’Arrigo, vice president of D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of New York Inc.

The evening of Jan. 21 was difficult for distributors as blowing snow throughout the night and early morning hours severely disrupted produce distribution and discouraged customers from visiting the market, he said.

“It severely impacted the main thrust of our nighttime business,” D’Arrigo said Jan. 23. “Trucks being delayed was par for the course and we’d be shocked if we didn’t have trouble as drivers pull off the road when there’s a blizzard. There was some backup but it wasn’t like we had a 24-inch monster snowstorm.”

Philadelphia Wholesale Produce MarketOn Jan. 23, distributors were working to catch-up from the previous days’ lost sales, D’Arrigo said.

Similar to the New York metropolitan region, the Philadelphia area received up to 14 inches of snow.

On Jan. 21, Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market manager Dan Kane was in a plow truck helping clear snow from the market’s large parking lot, said John Vena Jr., market board treasurer and president of John Vena Inc.

The market remained open throughout the storm though some companies closed after filling orders, reopening thenext morning on Jan. 21, he said.

“Business was a little slow but we’re at 100% capacity and have been operating as normal,” Vena said Jan. 23. “We haven’t experienced any delays in trucks and others haven’t had any problems distributing since that first night. It wasn’t as big a problem but it was a nasty storm. I don’t think it affected our customers all that much.”

Many stores and restaurants closed early and on Jan. 23, wholesalers were busy working to fill the delayed hours, he said.



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