Ports and Exports Pt 2

Ports and Exports Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Port backlogs and bottlenecks have become one of the most talked-about problems of the past couple of years thanks to the pandemic.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s Steve Balaski says our tree fruit producers know those problems all too well …

BALASKI … “In Washington state, we’re fortunate, and I would say Oregon and Idaho for that matter, we’re fortunate to have such a robust agricultural economy and, in many companies that are growing products that the world is demanding. There’s a huge demand for many of these things including the apples and a lot of companies, especially apples, rely on export markets to be profitable and to grow.”

The stories of empty containers leaving our ports, Balaski says is just one of the problems …

BALASKI … “We’ve also, up here in the Northwest, seen certain carriers temporarily reduce or suspend their service to the Northwest just to, again, allow for some breathing room to get caught up. So, I think that’s what we’re seeing right now.”

If that happens, Balaski says we should be okay …

BALASKI … “Hopefully the market can find some solutions. I think that’s typically the better result. And I, you know, I know the ocean carriers see the value of that business, the export business so it’s going to take some time to get back to where we were.”

Balaski says the port challenges have been getting more attention of late and, if that continues, exports should recover.

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