Florida watermelon shipments are gaining in volume, while California’s Salinas Valley is still struggling to get consist, good quality and decent volume vegetable shipments.
Florida watermelon shipments got off to a slow start at best in April, but decent volume is expected by mid May leading up to the important Memorial Day weekend, May 27-30. Some shippers are reporting supplies are off as much as 20 percent due to weather conditions. While initial shipments start out of southern Florida, central Florida watermelon shipments should get underway around May 10-15.
Demand for trucks have recently increased significantly in Florida, although no serious shortages of equipment has been reported. Rates also have increased by 10 to 15 percent to New York and Boston on mixed loads.
Southern Florida watermelons, tomatoes and vegetables – grossing about $3200 to New York City.
Georgia watermelon shipments typically start as Florida begins winding down. Georgia loadings should get underway around June 10th.
Southern Georgia greens, cabbage, carrots and squash – grossing about $2200 to New York City.
California Vegetable Shipments
The coastal district of Santa Maria is shipping about 450 truck loads of strawberries a week, but Watsonville strawberry shipments are increasing and will surpass Santa Maria any day now. Mother’s Day (May 8) is one of the biggest times for strawberry shipments. After a shaky first quarter of the year weather wise, Mother Nature is showing more cooperation and berries of all types are showing better quality, and volume.
Salinas Valley broccoli and cauliflower shipments got off to an early start, but there have been peaks and valleys regarding volumes. The roller coaster ride could continue for several more weeks. When produce loadings here start a week or two ahead of schedule, as it did this year, it is often followed by periods of heavy and light volumes.
Shipments for both broccoli and cauliflower had been decent, but another dip in loadings started in late April and continues into May. Most crops are experiencing issues with yields and volume is very uneven compared to “normal” shipping conditions.
Quality issues due to the weather has resulted in problems for drivers and shippers, upon delivery to the East Coast.
Salinas Valley lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower – grossing about $6700 to New York City.