Texas Border Business
On March 3, 2021, Weslaco welcomed the companies Robinson Fresh and CiL Fresh. The City of Weslaco is now a magnet for companies because it features a centralized location in the region for the international movement of produce.
Terry Finch, the Robinson Fresh operations manager for the South Texas region, thanked Joaquin Spamer of CiL Fresh and the City of Weslaco for the opportunity to participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony of such an important event.
C.H. Robinson, the parent company of Robinson Fresh is one of the largest global publicly traded logistics companies in theworld. The company was founded in 1905 as a produce company that later evolved to solve complex global supply chain solutionsfor customers worldwide.
The company currently employs more than 15,000 associates and operates out of 300 offices in 146 countries.
According to Finch, their produce business accounts for about 800 full-time employees. “Most of us are based within the United States and we are a Fortune 200 company that has been very fortunate to enter into a business relationship with CiL Fresh and receive the valuable support from the city of Weslaco in relocating our produce warehouse operation to this great location,” statedFinch.
He pointed out that in 2021, they expect the warehouse to receive 10 million cases of tropical produce imported from their growers and partners in Mexico. These commodities will include pineapples, mangos, papayas, limes, lemons, avocados, andbananas.
Robinson Fresh caters to companies like Walmart, HEB, Kroger, Whole Foods, and Cisco. These companies rely on RobinsonFresh and CiL Fresh to get produce to the volumes of multiple distribution centers across the country when, and as often as they need them.
To preserve the freshness of the produce, Robinson Fresh touts an efficient 45-minute load and unload time that truckers appreciate. The majority of the produce that crosses into the United States come from Mexico, Brazil and Ecuador.
Joaquin Spamer, the founder of Commodities Integrated Logistics, and president of the CiL Group was also present. He isknown for his experience in the industry in the United States and Mexico.
Spamer said that the business relationship they have with Robinson Fresh of providing cold storage space is incredible. After working towards accomplishing this project he realized that it was a great opportunity but at the same time a greater responsibility.
Spamer said that what started as a small project, ended up being massive. “We have 45,000 sq. ft. for C.H. Robinson in Reynosa, and 56,000 sq. ft. in the U.S.A. side.” Spamer pointed out that C.H. Robinson is an important client that deserves all the attention and credit for operating a produce company so effectively on a large scale.
“The responsibility is huge and does not end with C.H. Robinson.” He said, “We have employees that depend on our success. It is important for us to perform because there are 200 families depending on their jobs.”
Spamer also said that Robinson Fresh is a broker in several fruit and vegetable categories working with a global network of growers and producers.
“The expansion to Weslaco is a result of positive and persistent communication,” says Steven Valdez, EDC Interim Executive Director.
According to Spamer, after months of searching for the right location with specific cold storage and refrigerated needs, Robinson Fresh selected the 46,000 sq. ft. facility operated by CiL Fresh, a division of the CiL Group, a cluster of companies specialized in logistics, warehousing and development. The partnership between Robinson Fresh and CiL Fresh created 60 new jobs to Weslaco and is moving an average of 65 truckloads of produce to all five regions of the United States.
During this memorable ceremony EDC Interim Executive Director, Steven Valdez said, “If a giant like Robinson Fresh issuccessful in Weslaco. We think that many others can be as well and could follow the footsteps of Robinson Fresh.”