Cain Adams with Trinity Logistics/Longboard Logistics in Meridian, ID, told us on Feb. 28 that new onions are in the pipeline, and consumer confidence is high – good news made more visible by social media.
“Florida and Texas are about to heat up,” Cain wrote. “Weather is looking great, meaning more items are coming out of the fields. Farmers on Instagram are showing off their fields, harvesting and happy workers. Instagram is a great way for us to keep track of where items are in the growing cycle. Try it. The passion these guys have, for what they do, sure makes our office excited to be part of the mission in getting food to the plate.”
About Coronavirus, he said, “We saw the virus talk rear its ugly head. Good luck trying to find a N95 mask. All stores are sold out. Amazon is sold out. A nurse friend of mine in Boise said the masks are really to be worn by people infected, not people trying to stay away from infection. So that’s kind of good news?”
On the economy, he noted, “The stock market took notice and started its correction process. Don’t let yourself fall victim. Emotional selling is taking place, but we think it will cool off to come back up. We say this because we saw a little jump in freight this week and optimism in the housing markets. Low interest rates are helping, too.”
Cain continued, “Consumer confidence is high. People have jobs. Life seems pretty good right now for everyone. We may change our minds this fall. An election is coming.”
In the onion industry, he said, “Shippers still have control of pricing, keeping rates at their lowest for the year. Surprisingly, fuel is down, helping trucks keep rolling. Moreover, rates are helping the Northwest onion supply compete with new crop from Mexico and Texas. I have no idea how much the sheds are holding but can say we are not getting rejected for sprouting or decay.”
Looking at freight rates historically, he said, “Based on past years, we think the freight rates will start to come back up around March 5 from the Northwest and stay steady until May. Texas rates will continue to rise with more items crossing. Flatbeds are being used on loads south of the Amarillo/Atlanta line for now but will move north as the weather allows them to. The skins are thin. so if you are shipping out of McAllen please check the night time temps so you don’t hurt your loads. That extra money isn’t worth losing a customer or finding a new home for 900 bags of mess.”
And, Cain concluded, “We hope everyone can get their produce sold at a healthy price, the trucks move at a living wage and this virus is squashed. Stay positive and make it a habit to help your neighbor. As a whole we are better. Cheers!”