The recent doubling of the Panama Canal’s capacity will fast-track the neo-Panamax ships traversing the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Onion growers from Idaho-Eastern Oregon are worried that increased onion imports could hurt business.
Imports of Peruvian onions to the U.S., for example, have tripled in the last three years. Shipments from South America can reach the eastern U.S. coast at an average of $2,000 per load compared to shipments from the west coast to east coast receivers at a cost of about $6,000.
Onion growers are mulling over the concept of establishing a regional intermodal transportation hub in the Ontario/Nyssa/Vale area of eastern Oregon.