As gas prices in Arizona continue to rise, it’s creating challenges not only for daily transportation but prices for groceries. Jaime Chamberlain, the president of Chamberlain Distributing Inc., said they distribute millions of boxes of produce each year. As gas prices rise between $4 and $5, he said groceries become more expensive.
“My prices for the tomatoes, bell peppers or cucumbers so that increase has to be either labor or transportation,” he said. “Nine times out of ten, it’s transportation costs.”
He said they handle around 370,000 trucks a year through the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, as produce is transported from Mexico to the rest of North America.
Theres many times during the season where our transportation cost to get back east is higher than the product itself,” he said. When you go into a store, how much of this is for the product, or for transportation.
Stephanie Castro was shopping in Nogales and said when the prices are high, it’s time to get creative.
“And we usually just shop when theres deals going on, she said. And we just have to make do and make recipes with what we have.
From Tubac, Dan James shops for food in Nogales and he is optimistic that prices will turn around.
“Most of us have a little less in savings account, costs you a little bit more but life goes on, he said. “Itll improve, it will cycle back down.”