Coast-to-Coast produce freight rates out of California have been a little soft this year with the exception of a relatively short period of time a couple of months ago. With few exceptions, there have not been bumper crops, in large part due to weather factors. This has resulted in mostly adequate supplies of refrigerated equipment. There were a few $10,000 rates from Salinas to the Northeast last spring, but that was the exception, not the rule.
Another factor holding down rates are the large refrigerated fleets that negotiate seasonal or annual freight rates on fresh fruits and vegetables. They receive a lower than normal rate during the peak spring and summer months, but tend to take in a higher rates during the slower winter months.
California apple shipments have got underway with the gala variety. The state isn’t known for its apple production and basically fills a nich between dwindling imports and Washington’s new crop that starts in few weeks.
California granny smiths and early fujis shipments will start in late August, with cripps pink getting started around mid-October.
Shipments from California for the 2012-13 season were about 2 million boxes, down from the usual 2.6 million to 2.8 million.
California is estimating 106.9 million, 19-pound- boxes will be shipped this season, which would be another record. A new estimate will be out shortly. Shipments are now coming out of the San Joaquin Valley.
San Joaquin Valley grapes, stone fruit, melons and veggies – grossing about $7800 to New York City.
Salinas Valley vegetables and berries – about $5300 to Chicago.