Florida Spring Vegetable Shipments Continue to Improve Since 2017; Truck Rates Spike

Florida Spring Vegetable Shipments Continue to Improve Since 2017; Truck Rates Spike

Florida’s biggest shipping season of the year is springtime and 2019 apparently is shaping up as a good one. Produce shipments appear on track for a good volume year, rebounding somewhat since the Sunshine State felt the wrath of Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

Meanwhile Florida produce rates are showing a significant increase, ranging from a 19 percent increase to Baltimore to a 34 percent increase to Philadelphia.

During this period of around 6 to 8 weeks Florida spring shipments provide important volume for domestic volume with items ranging from blueberries, to potatoes, cabbage, squash, peaches and watermelon before the summer shipping season gets underway in northern and Midwestern states.

The spring of 2019 in Florida indicates the 2019 season should see higher volume than a year ago. However, this spring is not expected to achieve the shipping volumes of seasons prior to Hurricane Irma. At the same time fall and winter crops in Florida will continue through May. Among these commodities are tomatoes, sweet corn, bell peppers and citrus.

Florida weather has been mostly good for growing produce this year. Meanwhile Florida farmers have 5,200 acres to blueberries; 8,600 acres with cabbage; 12,000 acres with peppers; 28,700 acres with potatoes; 39,000 acres with sweet corn; 22,000 acres with watermelon, and 28,000 acres with tomatoes, making it one of the top 5 produce shipping states.

Florida is about even with California concerning fresh tomato shipments, with both two states combined providing nearly two-thirds of the nation’s shipments.

Although no serious truck shortages have been reported, the increasing vegetable volume is contributing is rate increases that are up around 25 percent in the past week or so.

Florida vegetables – grossing about $3300 to New York City.