Walnut exporters look for ways around clogged California ports

US nut exporters are in talks with top steamship and rail carriers for a new trade route to get their products overseas, reports Bloomberg.


The Northern California farm groups had discussions with BNSF Railway Company, CMA CGM as well as state officials on a plan to haul containers from California's Central Valley to the most prominent US port in Los Angeles.


Around a quarter of all US food is produced in Central Valley. The goal is to find an alternative to Oakland, a Bay Area port dealing with severe supply-chain snarls.


Backers of the proposal declared an inland hub closer to farms would speed up the turnaround time of shipments and ease highway traffic bottlenecks.


The busiest port in California after Los Angeles and Long Beach, Oakland has contended with issues ranging from capacity to labour during the Covid crisis.


Recently, the hub shut down for a week after truckers protested a gig-work law that could take 70,000 California drivers off the road.


As a result, outbound shipments fell 30 per cent in July from the prior month, the most significant drop since at least 1997.


"Obviously, all of these options come at an additional cost that we will have to incur, but at least we have options to move our freight, which is what we desperately need," said Stockton vice president of quality control Nina Solari.


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Walnut exporters look for ways around clogged California ports
Walnut exporters look for ways around clogged California ports