West Coast Freight Update 10/7

Freight is getting more expensive out of Washington state these days. The Union Pacific Railroad closed its specialty facility in Wallula this past May and we are just now seeing the effects. Now that the onion harvest is in full swing growers and shippers are scrambling to get freight lanes secured that were once covered by railcar. Some estimate that the Wallula facility was facilitating the equivalent of 160+ truckloads per month of onions. While the onion harvest itself is going along very well and prices remain steady, freight concerns will inevitably drive up delivered costs. This will also have an effect on general West Coast products. Since there is now a void of 160 truck per month moving across the country, growers and shippers of anything ranging from lettuce and lemons to potatoes and seafood will be competing more closely for available drivers and trucks. With California produce like lettuce, citrus, tomatoes and fruits already being heavily affected by three heatwaves and a several wild fires, pricing on West Coast items is not likely to ease quickly.

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