By Cain Adams
Happy Easter! On a good note, we all have had plenty of family time. There are plenty of puzzles being built on kitchen tables. The pantry is full of junk food and bulk items are stored “just in case.”
Those bulk items are potatoes, onions and rice. But are we eating through them or other veggies? Sure, we are. We are all eating both the junk food, staples and vegetables. But there is a problem in the ranks.
The problem we are seeing now is produce coming in from Mexico, under contract, for many stores while American produce is being plowed under. Florida is taking a real big hit the last few weeks. Tomatoes are being sold at $5 per flat to locals who drive to the farms. This is happening while still seeing tomatoes coming in from Mexico then placed on a reefer at $3,000 to haul it from McAllen to Tampa or Miami.
There is nothing the stores can do, though. They are under contract. You see, Florida grows 80 percent of their produce to feed theme parks, schools and restaurants. Those are all closed, but the food keeps growing. They cannot sell to the stores because of those contracts. It’s a shame.
Normal rates, out of Florida this time of year, are $2.10 to $3.50 per mile serving the nation. Right now, we are seeing 75 cents to $2 per mile. Trucks are taking a major hit.
I talked to a great driver, Joseph, who lives in St Augustine, FL. He asked if I could get him a load from Idaho to Florida next week. It’s the first time I said, “No, sir. You will need to go to McAllen to get a load back to Florida.” If he was to come to Idaho, Oregon or Washington, I would need to get him home at a rate of $1.50 per mile.
It’s always been a higher rate one way or the other but never a lower rate in both directions. My recommendation? “Park your truck for a month.”
Parking a truck for a month may sound absurd, but sitting for two or three days, deadheading 500 miles and creating two trips out of it seems more absurd. This is the reality of a supply chain which is broken right now. We have too many trucks because so many businesses are not requiring supply. And it’s not looking good for a while.
We have been watching California. I really thought California, in June, would be the saving grace. But if Florida is seeing troubled waters, California will as well if the restaurants are not open by then. With that said, if restaurants are open come June, its going to be one heck of a month for them. June is our prediction. Schools won’t be open, but restaurants will be packed. People want to get out and eat something other than home cooked stew. They want options. Bring on the burgers and onion rings!
If you, as a buyer or seller of onions, can purchase American please do. It may help a truck get home or a shed empty their supply. It’s hard to see a farmer take a harvest and plow it under at the beginning of the season but much harder to see it plowed under at the end. Let’s help each other receive a better tomorrow. We all want to work.
Thank you and hope your day is full of labor!