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Hurricane Sandy disrupts northeastern distribution

(October 31, 2012)—Wholesale produce distribution in the Northeast remains in limbo in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Distributors aren’t certain how long business will remain at a standstill after the Category I hurricane slammed into New York and New Jersey, devastating homes and businesses and closing supermarkets and restaurants.

The Oct. 29-30 “superstorm” prompted the closing of the New York and Philadelphia terminal markets, which escaped damage and reopened Oct. 31.

The storm disrupted produce distribution for Northeastern wholesalers and grower-shippers throughout the U.S.

“It’s a mess,” Chris Armata, president of E. Armata Inc., a wholesaler on the Hunts Point Terminal Market, said Oct. 31. “Some customers are ordering and some are then cancelling because their power has yet to be turned on. In many areas, particularly on Long Island, many retailers and most restaurants are closed.

“Overall, business is very slow with the unknown power situation. We have no idea how business will be. It’s so uncertain. We don’t know whether to order or not and we have inventory that we still need to sell through.”

Read more on The Packer website.