Produce trucking can be frustrating this time of year as spring is still a month away (March 20th), rates are down from earlier in the year, and spring vegetable shipments have yet to seasonally take off.
An interesting note is imported truck loads that include everything from Nogales and South Texas, as well as ports on both coasts, there were 7000 fewer truck loads shipped than during the same week in 2017. Part of the explanation is many imported produce items are maturing on a more normal schedule this year, compared to last year when warmer weather resulted in a lot of early crops.
Florida spring shipments won’t hit volume for several weeks, but there are signs of life. The new season for red potatoes out of Southern areas is underway, and we are seeing light but increasing volume with vegetables such as beans and cabbage. Tomatoes (mostly mature greens) are averaging around 750 truck loads weekly, although most loads out of the state involve multiple pick ups. Plant City area strawberries are averaging around 500 truck loads a week.
Florida produce – grossing around $3000 to New York City.
Port of Philadelphia
Chilean fruit arrivals are growing in volume. Early season Chilean grapes haven’t been that impressive quality-wise, but it’s good enough you shouldn’t face claims issues over it. There also is increasing volume with peaches, plums and nectarines. However, the biggest single volume item may be pineapples from Costa Rica and other Central American countries.
Otherwise, it is pretty much slim pickings from the Eastern time zone. You’ve got light volume out of New York state with apples, cabbage and storage onions. Eastern North Carolina is shipping around 250 truck loads of sweet potatoes each week, which is more than double the other leading states of California, Mississippi and Louisiana combined.
Michigan is moving about 150 truck loads of apples weekly, primarily from the Grand Rapids region. Some shippers buy items such as potatoes and onions from Western states, repack them, and then ship it out.