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Paying as much as $12,000 for a truckload

US freight rates are extraordinarily high

“Historically, transportation has always been challenging around Christmas and the beginning of the New Year,” says Ronnie Cohen with New Jersey-based Vision Import Group. The availability of trucks is limited, and freight rates are high as a result. Thursday’s snow storm in the Northeastern part of the US just added to the already tight situation. “Trucks have never been this short and I have never seen rates this high,” said Cohen. 

Passing cost on to receiver and consumer
Limes are the company’s biggest item and they are all crossing through South Texas. The cost of transporting a truckload of limes from South Texas to New York City is $9,000 at the moment and for the lane South Texas to Boston it’s $10,000. “This is about double of it what is has been,” Cohen shared. “I am hearing that the cost for a truckload from California to the East Coast is about $12,000. We have to pass the cost on to the receiver as otherwise, we would lose money. The receiver will pass it on to the consumer.” 

E-log box
What’s also causing freight rates to be up is the requirement of an e-log box for truck drivers. In the past, truck drivers kept manual records of their duty status, but a federal rule that requires truck drivers to use electronic logging devices has become effective. “The installation of the e-log boxes comes with an expense. In addition, it is no longer possible to cheat, and truckers have to be off the road after a certain amount of driving time. This is resulting in fewer trucks available on the roads,” said Cohen. 

Mangos in container were involved in Thursday's snow storm. Photo credit: Vision Import Group

“Thursday’s snowstorm just added to the already tight situation and created a perfect storm.” It caused shipping delays for Vision’s mangos and other fruit varieties that arrived by vessel at the ports of New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia. “We couldn’t get any product off the piers on Thursday as the weather delayed the process of the product moving through customs and getting cleared.” 

For more information:
Ronnie Cohen
Vision Import Group
Tel: 201-968-1190

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