Giumarra Nogales has successfully shipped its first produce load, watermelons, via railroad as part of its effort to explore alternate transportation methods.
The company shipped watermelons grown in Hermosillo, Mexico, to Jessup, Md., in a 50-foot refrigerated railcar in May. It was the first time in decades that produce grown in Mexico was shipped by train.
Working with Nogales-based Pacific Brokerage, Giumarra was able to coordinate a full shipment of watermelons. The melons arrived in Maryland in good condition. One railcar will fit up to three truckloads of product, according to a news release.
“Although our delivery had a few challenges, we feel the overall success of the trip demonstrates that watermelons are sturdy enough to handle rail shipment, and it may be a viable option for us in the future,” Gil Munguia, division manager of Giumarra Nogales, said in the release.
“With the success of our first run, we hope to push skepticism to the side and grab the attention of the railroads for future projects,” Pacheco said in the release. “We can move one ton of cargo more than 500 miles on a single gallon of diesel using rail. We believe this will help minimize the carbon footprint of long-haul shipping.”
The company plans also to ship honeydew melons, winter squash and cucumbers by rail. The next planned shipment is headed for Chicago.