US East Coast winter storm puts temporary stop on sweet potato exports

Effective early yesterday (January 3rd), the ports of Savannah, Charleston and Wilmington closed due to the anticipation of our current winter storm spanning most of the United States eastern seaboard.

The port of Norfolk is confirmed to be closed today January 4th until they release another update later today with regards to Friday.

The equipment in the above mentioned ports are simply not used to uncommon harsh winter conditions such as today’s. Therefore, it is better to close those ports and avoid the unknown possible stress the equipment might suffer.

In eastern North Carolina, heavy snow fall is uncommon. That means the infrastructure isn’t used to dealing with these conditions and people are simply not used to driving in what they consider extreme winter weather. Officials äre on the side of caution and close government operations such as schools or offices to avoid weather related accidents. Independent companies tend to follow as concerns for the employees safety and childcare options impact work participation." explains Steven Ceccarelli from Farm Fresh Produce.

This winter storm couldn’t have occurred at a worse time since this week was already short due to the New Year’s Day holiday on Monday. "This will impact our packing and loading capabilities to and from the port. Trucking companies will not be able to collect or return any containers back to terminals since they are closed until Saturday at the very earliest."

In either case, the current road conditions are hazardous. "Regardless of the ports being temporarily closed, we have planned ahead to get the most achieved out of this week and most of our clients will remain unaffected."

"We, at Farm Fresh Produce, find it important that our customers can expect solutions well before the problem even arises," stated Steven. "Hence the quote “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ― Benjamin Franklin."

"During these extreme circumstances, our loyal customers have peace of mind knowing that we have backup supply stored in the Netherlands, ready for distribution at a moments notice. Our backup stock is not meant for the everyday spot market or the opportunistic sale but simply to support our loyal customers with product when most needed."

"Our initiative to being the first GlobalG.A.P. GRASP fully compliant and certified entity in the United States has led most of the industry in that direction, which I believe to be a great thing."

"I can only hope the same trend occurs with regards to our sustainability goals this year, as we are approximately one month away from delivery of our solar project," concludes Steven Ceccarelli.

For more information:
Steven Ceccarelli
Farm Fresh Produce Inc.
Tel: +1 910 920 9871

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