Blue Diamond Almond Facts March-April 2022



Blue Diamond Moving Despite Challenges Over the last two years, ports and transportation have continued to face congestion and delays globally, leading to many almond exporters facing the difficult task of processing and shipping their crops. The rolling delays of shipments, equipment availability to load, chassis available to move containers, and ongoing driver shortages have led to warehousing capacity reaching all-time highs. Several factors have contributed to the delays that continue to place pressure on Global Logistics:

• In 2020, increased consumer spending and a labor shortage at ports and driver shortage created a backlog of cargo awaiting shipment. • The Alliance, a group of steamships exiting the Port of Oakland, and the entry of new ocean carriers with larger ships have resulted in fewer options for export. • Ocean carriers significantly reduced or canceled volume commitments to all exporters to reduce the volume on ships. • Ocean carriers continue to focus on profit by returning empties to more profitable regions for reloading and import back. For example, in January of this year, empty containers were moved back to Asia by the steamships off the West Coast, causing further constraints and availability challenges. • Chassis availability has reached capacity as delays in shipping and unloading have reached capacity, leading to a lack of wheels to move containers once loaded for truckers. The delays in shipments, securing vessel space, and warehouse networks reaching all-time highs have resulted in charges with detention on what is already in some cases a 200% – 300% increase in transportation rates over prior years. In addition, many exporters have faced challenges securing vessel shipments regardless of being willing to pay the prices. Lastly, carrier systems automatically generate

penalties requiring many hours of research to file claims. These financial burdens have weighted many handlers and growers with increasing logistics costs in times of high fuel prices. The power of Blue Diamond Growers has never been more present than amid these dynamic and challenging times. Like others in the industry, we have faced challenges such as delays, administratively burdensome booking processes, and increased rates. The strength of the cooperative has helped us to implement new processes to improve our performance and distribute our growers’ almonds globally: • Booking ahead has allowed us to remain ahead and move our containers when others have not located container space on ships or equipment to load out. • Having a trusted partner in Devine Intermodal, who has been a carrier for Blue Diamond Growers for over 30 years, is integrated into our trucking operations and secures our equipment. • Our direct contractual relationships with our Ocean Carriers and access to the global support desk provide a competitive advantage. • Forward-thinking with capital for our California Network infrastructure with warehouses in Salida, Sacramento, Oakdale, and our dedicated third-party warehouse allows us to support shipment delays without disrupting our supply chain.

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