Normally we would see a bump in rates for hauling produce as the Fourth of July holiday approaches – when Independence Day falls on any day but Wednesday. This is not to say there will not be a increase in produce rates, but some observers are saying it may not be as high, or may not even occur this year for the holiday. Regardless, strong demand for refrigerated equipment will continue before and after the Fourth, and rates are expected to remain healthy in the coming weeks.
In Southeastern Arkansas, peak tomato shipments are continuing. While it has been an excellent growing season, triple digit temperatures have moved in. If the extreme heat continues the mid July conclusion to tomato shipments may happen even before that.
In Virginia, some are not aware the state ranks fourth nationally in tomato shipments, and 6th nationally in potato, apple and snap bean volume.
Moving to the Northwest, Washington state cherry shipments are in heavy volume. Loadings should continue until September and the state is on a course for record shipments.
In California, rates have had only minor fluctuations since early June. The Salinas Valley has lighter than usual volume with broccoli and cauliflower, plus lettuce shipments have been hampered as East Coast receivers took advantage of coastal shipping areas such as New Jersey, which started weeks earlier than normal. This put Eastern lettuce shipments on a collision coarse with West Coast lettuce shipments. Eastern receivers could save $7 to $8 per carton on lettuce, just on shipping costs, when they purchased eastern lettuce as opposed to that product from California.
Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $8500 to New York City