Truck shortage stymies local onion industry

By Pat Caldwell
The Enterprise
ONTARIO – A new federal rule, a booming economy and an aging workforce have conspired to create a shortage of trucks for local onion shippers.
Fewer trucks means higher shipping rates which translates into higher prices for consumers.
“We are not able to ship the volume we’d like to currently and it has been that way for a couple of months,” said Grant Kitamura, general manager of Baker-Murakami Produce, a major onion shipping firm in Ontario.
Kitamura said his industry usually encounters some type of truck shortage during the year, especially in December.
“We have times, like when we are competing against Christmas trees, but then they break free. But we haven’t seen it breaking free this year,” said Kitamura.
Three things are at the heart of the shortage, according to onion and shipping industry officials.
A new federal rule, implemented . . .