The Nogales, AZ, office of Monterey, CA-based Sun Crest-Bollinger International Inc. is basically a brokerage operation handling a full line of the produce commodities that come through Nogales.
Vince Silva, who handles sales for the Nogales operations, told The Produce News that he works with all types of customers, and that as a broker his focus is “to provide the customer with a service.” With no specific product or label to promote, he said, “we are just competing” with other brokers, and the brokers who win the business are the ones who keep the customers happy with the service they provide.
“I’m not trying to say I am the best in Nogales, and I am not trying to say I know everything about the products out here. Every year there is something different, and I learn something every day.” But some people “are not pleased with the service they are getting and they look elsewhere,” and that brought new business to Sun Crest-Bollinger. “I’ve gained a few customers” that way, he said.
“By way of providing a service, we put hands on and eyes on everything we sell out of Nogales,” to make sure that the products customers receive will move in and out of their warehouse. “Now, more and more people are more critical of what they receive,” he said. “They want their product to come in and move out of their warehouse. Nobody is looking to store anything right now.”
Currently, customers have “plenty to choose from,” Mr. Silva said. “There is a lot of product coming into town right now,” and it doesn’t always move out as fast as it comes in, so “some of these shippers get stuck with product and they still keep on receiving. Their job as a shipper is to get rid of the oldest stuff first and leave the newer stuff on the floor.” But “the service I am trying to provide is to avoid the problem of a customer getting old stuff. If something is not good, I can stop it here before it becomes a mess somewhere else.”
Sun Crest-Bollinger recently moved into a new office and warehouse facility in the Rio Rico Industrial Park north of Nogales, according to Loren Bollinger, president of the company. The new location, in the new Grower Alliance building, is “just around the corner” from the previous location, “but it is a nicer facility,” he said. “We have the same capabilities. We bring fruit in, we mix it, we look at it, and we inspect everything we ship.”
The company also offers consolidation services.