Here’s a glimpse at hauling availability now and in coming weeks for cherries, watermelons and berries
California cherry volume is low. Although this gorgeous looking and tasting fruit makes up only one percent of total volume in produce shipments, it’s one of the highest paying freight items for produce haulers.
The cost for a 16-pound case of cherries started the season in California at a whopping $58 per case, the highest in 7 years. U.S. cherry shipments get underway in late April and wraps up at the end of August. Traditionally, peak loadings occur in July before gradually decreasing. The United States is the 2nd largest producer of cherries in the world after Turkey.
The California cherry season is just the warm up for an action-packed 16 weeks, and is a prelude to big time shipper, the state of Washington.
Lime, Lemon Shipments
Mexico has experienced an abnormally wet and cold winter in Tabasco, the leading lime growing region. Shippers also report high freight rates also is contributing to the availability of limes. Lime volume is expected to remain lower than normal at least through June.
While cherry volume is limited right now, watermelons are in plentiful supply.
As an example, a 40,000-pound truckload of cherries is valued at $174,000. The same weight in watermelons is only worth $4,800!
Blueberry shipments are finally increasing as domestic U.S. production rises and are less reliant on imports to meet blueberry demand. Domestic blueberry shipping regions are ramping up as they head toward peak loadings from June to August.
Blackberry volumes also are on the upswing with increasing production in the Baja California, Mexico, and California. While raspberries are coming out of those same regions volume remains relatively low.
As for strawberries, volume and quality have been all over the board in recent weeks. Shipments are expected to be building and should continue through June.