'US consumers see impact of shipping backlogs and high truck rates when they do their shopping'

Shipping port backlogs continue to be a key factor in supply chain challenges nationwide. West coast ports remain an ongoing problem, with over 90 ships awaiting berthing spots at the Port of Los Angeles. The average waiting time for a vessel within 40 nautical miles of the Port of Los Angeles is 3.5 days. Business hours have increased to a 24/7 operation at the port resulting in significant decreases in container dwell times at the port since October. Additionally, high truck rates, a shortage of truck drivers and winter weather continue to plague the produce industry as well as other sectors.

Consumers are seeing the impact when they do their grocery shopping, with higher prices and limited supplies of some products. Retail establishments like restaurants, which were seeing business levels starting to improve, have seen a significant decline in the last few weeks with the impact of the Omicron variant.

Mexican blueberry crossings through Arizona, California, and Texas movement expected to increase. Trading was very active due to limited competition from Chilean fruit. Prices on 6-ounce cups are higher and pints unchanged. Quality and condition of Mexican berries is reported as variable. Movement of Chilean imports of blueberries via boat through both various East Coast and West Coast ports of entry is expected to increase as harvesting increases in Chile.

Trading on east coast ports of entry is moderate, and the first F.O.B price report was issued this week. Supplies entering the west coast ports are still in too few hands to establish a market. Chilean blueberries are still delayed at the west coast ports, especially the Port of Los Angeles. The movement of Peruvian imports of blueberries arriving through both the Philadelphia and New York City areas and through Southern California ports via boat is expected to decrease as the season nears its end. Trading was active for light supplies, with prices unchanged. Quality is reported as generally good for this late in the season.


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Source: ams.usda.gov

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