Like everywhere else, New York produce operators saw escalating truck rates in 2017, but shippers there are complaining less than shippers elsewhere.
That’s because they are much closer to major Eastern metropolitan regions than Western and Midwest produce growers.
“The proximity (to markets) and being able to get to a lot of these customers overnight or within five, six hours is huge, but I think the transportation thing is something everyone’s going to battle all summer,” said Shannon Kyle, saleswoman for Torrey Farms Inc., Elba, N.Y.
June and July usually have adequate trucks, but this year, trucks are already tight by early July, she said.
The implementation of electronic logging device mandates has made it more difficult for truckers and resulted in an unsettled market, said Amanda Soliday, dispatcher for the trucking firm Paul Marshall Produce Inc.
Two years ago, she said the trucking lane from Elba to Chicago was reliably $1,000 per load. Last summer, those rates escalated to $1,600, she said.
“Hopefully, (conditions) level off,” she said.
That didn’t seem to be the reality so far.
Jason Turek, partner in Turek Farms, King Ferry, N.Y., said July 5 that truck rates during the July Fourth holiday period were up 20% to 25% compared with a year ago.
New electronic logging device mandate rules mean adding another day to any trucking route more than 500 or 600 miles, he said.