Fresh fruits and vegetables play a big role in the record setting containerized cargo arrivals at Port Everglades… Meanwhile, Washington apple loadings are down compared to September of last year.
By Port Everglades
Fresh produce imports played a major role in Port Everglades (Fla.), setting a record for containerized cargo volumes with 1.077 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in fiscal year 2017.
That’s a 4 percent increase compared to the previous fiscal year totals and 1.5 percent over the previous record, set in fiscal year 2015. The port’s fiscal year ended September 30th, according to a news release.
“The volumes of refrigerated produce coming into Florida through Port Everglades from Central America is significant,” Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director Steve Cernak said. “It represents more than half of all perishable cargo that arrives in Florida by ocean.”
Apparel, tile, beverages, machinery and automobile parts are also significant categories imported through the port.
Apple shipments, as well as volumes and sales were off this season at retail compared to a year ago in September due to a harvest gap, according to data compiled from Nielsen Fresh Facts.
Washington state apples had a record early harvest start last year, and started about 10 days later than normal this year, causing the lag at retail. according to a news release from Stemilt Growes, based in Wenatchee WA.
Volume, sales and shipments should pick up soon as harvests conclude and retailers have big enough supplies to offer ad specials on apples.
Apples were 5.9 percent of total produce department sales in September, compared with 6.5 percent last year.
Gala, red delicious, fuji, Honeycrisp and granny smith were the top five varieties, and club variety Sweetango cracked the top 10.
The average September retail price for all varieties was $1.66, and nearly 66 percent of sales were in bulk. Two-thirds of bagged apple sales in September were 3-pound bags.
Sizing is smaller on apples than in 2016.
Washington apple shipments – grossing about $5000 to Chicago.