Ports and Exports Pt 1

Ports and Exports Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. As spring approaches and growers look forward to another harvest season, the question for many will turn to export markets and their ability to get their tree fruit out of our ports to these foreign consumers.

Steve Balaski, Director of Business Development at the Northwest Seaport Alliance, sees those challenges on a daily basis …

BALASKI … “I would say the agricultural companies, the exporters have really, in many ways, suffered more and had more of an impact due to this supply chain congestion issues because in many cases they’re unable to get equipment, you know, containers to actually ship in and they’re challenged to actually get space on a vessel.”

Tree fruit growers, especially apples, Balaski says were really impacted …

BALASKI … “For example, our export volumes in 2021 were down almost 13% for the year and roughly 70% of our containerized exports are agricultural commodities. And the, when I looked at apples their volumes for 2021 were down, I think, over 30%. So, we’re definitely seeing that negative impact for the ag community.”

But, Balaski says they’re doing everything they can …

BALASKI … “We are very focused on what can we do from the port’s perspective to help improve the situation for many of these companies.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on our port backlogs and bottlenecks and what it means for Washington producers in the months ahead.

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