January and February are two of the slowest months for fresh produce shipments, and while March begins to give hope of things to come it often is not much better.
Still, here is a round up of some of the best loading opportunities from the western states.
West Mexico vegetable shipments through Nogales, AZ are typically one of the best locations for produce loads in the winter, but this year it’s not quite up to speed, thanks to weather factors in growing areas south of the border. Produce trucking rates are down 8 to 10 percent to most destinations, at least in part to the lower volume.
Multiple rains in November followed by another round about New Year’s hit vegetables such as cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and green bell peppers pretty hard. These weather events are reported to be more serious than damaging freezes in 2011-12-13. Currently around 850 truckload equivalents of cukes are being shipped weekly and nearly 600 truckload equivalents of bell peppers.
In the Yuma area of western Arizona, most of the nation’s lettuce is coming from here now. There are about 375 truckload equivalents of head lettuce and romaine a week being shipped from Yuma.
Mexican vegetables crossing through Nogales – grossing about $3600 to Chicago.
Lettuce and other veggies from Yuma as well as the nearby Imperial Valley and Coachella Valley (the later two in the California desert) – grossing about $6200 to New York City.
California certainly is less than exciting from a produce hauling stand point right now. There is the previously mentioned desert areas, plus Oxnard is shipping some veggies, most notably celery, averaging about 400 truckload equivalents per week. The Bakersfield area is led by carrots with around 450 truckload equivalents a week.
Perhaps the most promising loads in the weeks ahead are with strawberries. South California volume now is very light, but there is the potential for record setting shipments from Easter (April 12) through the Fourth of July. Right now the primary strawberry loads are from Mexico through South Texas which are double the volume of California .
Carrots from the Bakersfield area – grossing about $3700 to Dallas.
Heaviest volume from the Pacific Time Zone is easily with apples, averaging about 2,750 truckloads each week. Storage sheds are mostly in the Yakima and Wenatchee valleys. Otherwise, there are onions and potatoes from Washington’s Columbia Basin and the adjacent Umatilla Basin in Oregon. There are over 800 truckloads of onions and about 360 truckloads of potatoes moving weekly from this area.
Yakima Valley apples – grossing about $6600 to New York City.
The state’s upper valley and Twin Falls areas are shipping about 1,750 truckloads of potatoes a week.
Idaho potatoes grossing – about $4500 to Atlanta.