Check out where in the nation the biggest demand for produce truckers is….Also, there are reasons South Texas is becoming a bigger player for hauling Mexican imported produce. Plus, what’s up with pomegranates.
Idaho Potato Shipments
The biggest demand for produce trucking in the country is coming out of the Twin Falls, ID area. Easily, the largest potato shipping state, Idaho is currently averaging about 2000 truck load equivalents of mostly russet potatoes per week.
Idaho potatoes – grossing about $2200 to Atlanta.
California Pomegranate Shipments
Most pomegranates for the holiday season have already been shipped because of a short crop due to heavy October rains. The USDA reports only 120,000 pounds of U.S. pomegranates shipped between November 6 – 12, off from 660,000 between November 8 – 14 a year ago. The year-to-date total for U.S. pomegranate shipments is 7.56 million pounds, down from 9.17 million pounds at the same point last year.
California’s Pom Wonderful accounts for about 60 percent of the pomegranate shipments, which normally lasts through January.
Crown Jewels Produce, of Fresno, normally ships through the second week of December, but finished its season a month early. Its volume is down about 30 percent.
Simonian Fruit of Fowler, CA typically ships pomegranates into January, or February, but will wrap up its season by Christmas if not sooner.
Mexican Import Growth
Mexico continues to play a pivotal role in the Texas produce industry.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth in our Texas ports of entry on the import side,” Bret Erickson, president and CEO of the Texas International Produce Association, said recently. “It’s important to recognize also that many of our largest producers in Texas are also some of our largest importers, so the import industry plays a real critical role in the overall success of the produce industry in Texas.”
Import volumes were up nearly 25 percent in 2015 from the previous year, and a significant volume of fresh produce coming from Mexico now goes through Texas.
This has resulted in volumes of fresh produce coming through Pharr, TX just about equaling tonnage in Nogales, AZ.
Reasons for the increase in import volume include a new highway system in Mexico, which serves as a pipeline from the main production area of Mexico straight to south Texas.
Weather and labor issues in the U.S. have also contributed. However, the import growth rate is expected to slow in the coming years as the infrastructure in the area expands to handle the volume now being transported.
The boom in infrastructure in south Texas is certainly a positive economic impact to the state of Texas in terms of jobs and construction companies getting bids to build cold storage facilities, with some being as large as 100,000 square feet.
Mexcian imports through South Texas – grossing bout $3100 to Miami.