Archive For The “News” Category

Port of Oakland Volume Jumped 11.4% in 1st Half of 2021

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Port of Oakland first half 2021 total cargo volume increased 11.4 percent over 2020 and forecasters envision no letup.

The Port reported recently it handled the equivalent of 1.3 million 20-foot containers in the past six months. If the pace holds, the Port’s year-end volume would surpass 2.6 million containers for the first time ever.

“We’ve never seen this level of activity and based on the outlook we’re preparing for more,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “Our challenge is serving customers who expect us to handle their cargo efficiently.”

The Port said a year-long boom in containerized U.S. imports is driving record business. It said the trend should continue based on three factors:

  • Record freight rates being charged by container shipping lines indicating high demand for vessel space;
  • Rising U.S. inflation that signals continued strong consumer spending on goods manufactured overseas; and
  • The upcoming August-November peak season when retailers and distributors stock up for holiday merchandising.

According to the Port, containerized import volume in Oakland has increased year-over-year for five consecutive months. Oakland reported that June 2021 imports were up 15 percent compared to the same period last year. Exports edged up 0.8 percent, the Port said.

Ports nationwide have reported difficulty keeping up with the unprecedented cargo surge. On average, vessels are loading and unloading 66 percent more cargo in Oakland than they did last year. One consequence has been cargo delivery delays. Oakland said it expects delays to ease by late summer with the addition of more dockworkers. 

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Southern California Port Congestion Logjam tops 50 Ships as Wait Time Increases

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The U.S. port congestion is worsening, with the number of container ships waiting to enter the largest U.S. gateway for transpacific trade swelling to another pandemic record, Bloomberg reports.

The situation is adding delays and costs during peak season for companies to rebuild inventories.

Fifty-five vessels were anchored or idling further offshore waiting to offload at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, as of September 13th, up from 40 two weeks ago, according to officials who monitor marine traffic in San Pedro Bay.

The average wait rose to 8.5 days compared with 7.6 in late August, according to L.A. port data.

L.A. officials have exhausted their designated anchorage space for overflow traffic and had a record 17 ships in so-called drift zones — areas used in times of extreme volume where they wait for room in shallower water to drop anchor safely.

The ships in queue have a combined capacity to carry nearly 375,000 20-foot containers, according to data compiled by the Marine Exchange of Southern California. That’s about the same amount of inbound boxes that the Los Angeles port handled in a month on average before the pandemic.

And experts don’t expect a slowdown in cargo as peak season nears.

There is a “60% increase in the inbound outbound ratio at the ports of US West Coast, surpassing the pre-covid levels, indicating that there is excessive stress on the ports, and therefore indicating further congestion is expected in the coming months as we approach the holiday season in the later part of the year,” Dr. Johannes Schlingmeier, co-founder and CEO of Container xChange, said in a press release.

Cargo volumes have been growing for several months. The Port of Long Beach has broken cargo monthly records in 12 of the last 13 month.

Through July, the port processed 5.5 million TEUs, a 32% increase over the same period last year, according to the Port of Long Beach. The Port of Los Angeles has processed 6.3 million TEUs in the 2021 calendar year.

Companies across the supply chain are taking action to mitigate the port congestion. Shippers are booking in advance even if it means paying more. Carriers are doubling orders for container ships, and 3PLs likes C.H. Robinson are applying drayage surcharges at ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles.

Customers are already shifting cargo to ports along the East Coast, Gulf or Pacific Northwest. The Southern California ports play a dominant role due to their capacity, but customers at Seko Logistics have been looking at charters to transport goods.

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Allen Lund Company Renews with U.S. SmartWay Transport Partnership

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Allen Lund Company has announced that it has submitted and received approval for their current data submission to the SmartWay Transport Partnership, an innovative collaboration between U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the industry.

The SmartWay Transport Partnership provides a framework to assess the environmental and energy efficiency of goods movement supply chains. 

Allen Lund Company will continue to contribute to the Partnership’s savings of 312 million barrels of oil, $41.8 billion on fuel costs and 133 metric tons of CO2, 2.6 million tons of NOx, and 109 million tons of PM… This is the equivalent of the annual electricity use in 20 million homes. By joining SmartWay Transport Partnership, Allen Lund Company demonstrates its strong environmental leadership and corporate responsibility.

Executive VP, Kenny Lund commented, “Allen Lund Company has been a proud participant in SmartWay for many years. We will continue to help the transportation industry to deliver goods in the most efficient way possible. Our experienced employees and cutting-edge technology allow carriers and shippers to run more loaded miles with less waiting and supply chain disruption.”

Developed jointly in early 2003 by EPA and Charter Partners represented by industry stakeholders, environmental groups, American Trucking Associations, and Business for Social Responsibility, this innovative program celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2014. Partners rely upon SmartWay tools and approaches to track and reduce emissions and fuel use from goods movement. The Partnership currently has over 3,000 Partners including shipper, logistics companies, truck, rail, barge, and multimodal carriers.

For information about the SmartWay Transport Partnership visit 

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Global Avocado Production May Triple from 2010 to 2030

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Avocado production may triple its growth by 2030 compared to levels in 2010 by reaching 12 metric tons (MT), according to an FAO report.

The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2021-2030 reports while avocados have the lowest production level among the major tropical fruits, it has experienced the fastest growth in production in recent years.

This fruit is expected to remain the fastest-growing commodity of the major tropical fruits during the reporting period.

Ample global demand and lucrative export unit prices continue to be the main drivers of this growth, stimulating substantial investments in area expansion in both major and emerging production zones.

Production and Consumption

Avocado production has so far been concentrated in a small number of regions and countries, with the top 10 producing areas currently accounting for almost 80 percent of world production.

Despite the above, the report said around 74 percent of avocado production is expected to remain in Latin America and the Caribbean, given the favorable growth conditions in the region.

In response to the rapid growth in global demand, avocados are expected to become the most traded tropical fruit by 2030, reaching 3.9MT of exports and surpassing both pineapples and mangoes in terms of quantity.

Given the high average unit prices of avocado, the total value of world avocado exports would reach an estimated $8.3 billion in constant value terms from 2014 to 2016, placing the avocado as one of the most valuable fruits.

Production in Mexico, the world’s largest producer and exporter, is expected to grow 5.2 percent annually over the next 10 years due to continued growth in demand in the U.S.

As such, and despite growing competition from emerging exporters, Mexico is expected to further increase its market share to 63 percent in 2030.

The report also notes the U.S. and the EU are expected to remain the top importers, accounting for 40 percent and 31 percent of world imports in 2030, respectively.

However, imports are also increasing rapidly in many other areas such as China and some Middle Eastern countries, and, as measured by the Herfindahl-Hirschman index of all importers, the concentration of imports is gradually decreasing.

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Bar Mixologists Have Until Oct. 1 to Create Pomegrante Cocktail: 5 Will Win $10K

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By The Wonderful Company

LOS ANGELES – POM Wonderful® is excited to launch a social media cocktail contest dedicated to supporting local bars that were impacted by pandemic closures. The competition will put bartenders’ mixology skills to the test as they create cocktails using POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice. Five winners will each designate a deserving bar to receive a $10,000 cash prize and year’s supply of POM Juice.

Mixologists across the country are encouraged to highlight the sweet-yet-tart taste of POM Juice and enter the #POMCocktailContest. Entrants will be tasked with developing a signature POM-inspired cocktail and sharing a photo of their creation on Instagram along with the recipe, tagging @POMWonderful and nominating a local bar. Entries will be judged on presentation, creativity, diversity of ingredients, and the extent to which POM Juice is featured.

On October 1, 10 finalists will be chosen, and their cocktails will be featured on the @POMWonderful Instagram page. Consumers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite POM cocktail by “liking” the photo to determine the semi-finalists. Five winners will be selected on October 11. The winners’ nominated bars will receive a $10,000 cash prize to help them recover from pandemic hardships, along with a year’s supply of POM Juice to incorporate into cocktails.

“The bar community played an important role in the beginnings of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice, bringing to life the iconic POMtini and pomegranate margarita. With so many bars impacted by COVID-19 closures, we wanted to rally behind those who have supported us,” said Adam Cooper, senior vice president of marketing, The Wonderful Company. “Through a friendly competition and unique POM cocktails, we hope to bring some hope, excitement and flavor to the bars and bartenders that have had a challenging year.”

As a cocktail ingredient, POM Juice adds a unique burst of flavor and antioxidant goodness, perfect for those looking for a better-for-you mixer. To learn more about the contest and for official rules, please visit For cocktail inspiration and information about POM Wonderful, please visit, on Facebook at /POMWonderful, and Instagram at @POMWonderful.


About POM Wonderful

POM Wonderful is the largest grower and producer of fresh pomegranates and pomegranate juice in the United States as well as the worldwide leader in fresh California pomegranates and pomegranate-based products including our 100% pomegranate juices, healthy juice blends, and teas. We grow, handpick and juice our own pomegranates to ensure the highest quality. POM Wonderful is part of The Wonderful Company, a privately held $5 billion company, which also has other No. 1 brands such as Wonderful® Pistachios, FIJI® Water, Wonderful® Halos®, JUSTIN® Wine, and Teleflora®. To learn more about The Wonderful Company, visit, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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Organic Garlic Sales Continue to Increase

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Over 3 million pounds of organic garlic, and sales in excess of $24 million occured in 2019.

IRI reports income plays a role in organic garlic purchases. Shoppers earning less than $50,000 annually were half as likely to select organic garlic exclusively in 2020 as those earning $50,000-$100,000, according to Organic Fresh Trends 2021.

African American consumers, Asian shoppers and those in the “all other” ethnic group were among the most likely overall to buy organic garlic at least some of the time. Hispanic shoppers were among the least likely to buy organic garlic overall, whether it be periodically or exclusively.

Older consumers were less likely to select organic garlic than those younger than 40. In fact, shoppers age 18-39 were among the most likely groups overall to buy organic garlic at least some of the time, while those over age 60 (and Hispanic shoppers) were the least likely groups overall to choose organic. 

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U.S. Fruit Imports Rise 13% in First Half of 2021, Led by Strong Uptick from Mexico

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U.S. fruit imports in the first half of 2021 rose by 13 percent year-on-year, with the value of trade from Mexico seeing the largest increase of the top-five supplying countries.

Imports of all fresh, frozen and processed fruit grew from $11 billion to $12.3 billion MT from January through June this year.

Mexico, by far the leading supplier, provided nearly half of the volumes, with imports from the Latin American country rising by 19 percent to $5.9 billion.

The other top supplying countries also sent more fruit to the U.S.

Imports from Chile rose by 10 percent to $1.4 billion, while from Peru they rose 2 percent to $712 million. Guatemala, Costa Rica and Canada also sent greater volumes.

In terms of fruit categories, berries had a strong showing in the six-month period. Raspberry imports rose by 8 percent to $605 million, blueberries rose by 38 percent to $526 million, strawberries rose by 28 percent to $773 million and blackberries rose by 30 percent to $318 million.

Avocado imports rose by 2 percent to $1.3 billion, table grape imports rose 6 percent to $1.6 billion, and citrus rose by 21 percent to $548 million.

Bananas were one of the few categories to see a decline, falling by 3 percent to $957 million.

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Keeping It Fresh: Produce Season Challenges

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By Brendan McCallum, ALC Rochester

With every produce shipping season comes a new set of challenges, and the 2021 season may be the most challenging we have ever seen. The impact of COVID-19 on the economy has been massive and unprecedented, with every industry being affected in one way or another. While many industries suffered during this time, the agriculture industry saw volumes increase. Add on the usual surge in volume during the produce season, and you see an extremely tight capacity situation.
Shifting focus to the Northeast, which has its heaviest peak of volume in August/September, relying mainly on the production of apples, corn, and blueberries. In 2020 we had seen increases in produce sales within these major Northeast crops, only to see these numbers increase further coming into 2021:

  • Total corn production increase estimated at 6.5% between 2019 and 2020, with that trend continuing into 2021, which is in part due to corn exports increasing because of high demand from China and other importers. 
  • In New York, apple production is expected to increase in 2021 due largely to improving export markets and continued strong domestic demand.
  • Coming off a 2020 drought season, Maine has shown improvement in blueberry production in 2021 and will see continued improvements, due to further education/research on climate adaptions.

These are just some examples that will make up for a challenging peak in the Northeast produce season. Around this time, carriers will devote trucks to moving high crop volumes, diminishing available capacity throughout the country. This causes spikes in truck rates, which immediately impacts the ability to book shipments into or out of the affected and nearby states. It is important to apply advanced preparations and have a strategy in place to adapt to various seasonal demand changes. This is the season in which relationships built throughout the year with carriers becomes so important. Having people you can rely on to ship these products during a trying time will help mitigate disruptions and frustrations, ensuring continued success for everyone involved.   


Brendan McCallum is a transportation broker in his first year at the ALC Rochester, office. He has three years of previous experience working in Intermodal Logistics. Brendan attended The College at Brockport where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management.     

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Florida Ports Looking for Rebound Following Loss of $14B in Trade Last Year

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A new report shows that Florida’s seaports are poised to recover from a loss of $14 billion over last year.

Leading the recovery is the strong growth in cargo volumes that started in the second part of last year and the recent gradual restart of the cruise industry.

The value of trade decreased more than 16 percent in 2020, according to the annual report from the Florida Seaports Transportation and Economic Development Council (FSTED).

“We knew it was going to hit cruise — obviously with that being shut down — but cargo was a little bit of a rude awakening, to see the impact on that,” Michael Rubin, president and CEO of the Florida Ports Council said.

“The good news, again, is that cargo is back up, and it seems to be doing well.”

The report confirms that most of the declines came in the first part of the year due to the uncertainty around COVID-19. 

The recovery occurred in the fall, but most of Florida’s ports experienced declines for the year.

Breakbulk cargo experienced an overall year-over-year increase though, growing 8.8 percent to 7.8 million metric tons (MT) last year.

Despite the current challenges to cruise operations in Florida, the report concludes that the fundamentals of the cruise industry remain strong.

They believe the combination of pent-up demand and widespread vaccinations will result in a full, long-term recovery for the industry.

“With $3.3 billion in capital improvements at Florida’s seaports identified over the next five years, we expect our ports to continue playing a leading role in job creation and economic growth,” FSTED Program Administrator Michael Rubin said.

Among the projects slated are rehabilitation and repairs for berths, construction of new cruise and cargo terminals, and channel and harbor deepening efforts.

Florida’s governor also announced that he plans to devote $250 million from the federal stimulus monies to the ports.

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Dollar General to Address Food Insecurity, Plans to Offer Produce in up to 10,000 Stores

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Goodlettsville, Tenn. – Dollar General (NYSE: DG) today announced an operational partnership with Feeding America®, as well as a $1 million donation to the organization, to provide access to food resources in rural and otherwise underserved communities and to proactively address food insecurity across the country. The Company also plans to offer produce in up to 10,000 communities over the next several years, with a meaningful number of those stores in current United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defined food deserts.

“Food insecurity impacts communities across the country, and given that Feeding America projects that 42 million people may face hunger as a result of the pandemic, we want to be part of the solution for those facing this issue,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO. “With our extensive store footprint, often in communities others have chosen not to serve, Dollar General is uniquely positioned to help combat hunger by offering convenient access to a variety of nutritious foods at affordable prices.  Our work with Feeding America builds on these efforts by providing in-kind donations of perishable foods to help nourish and feed those in need. Together with Feeding America and local community food banks, we look forward to making a measurable impact in the fight against food insecurity.”  

Produce and Healthier Foods Goals
With approximately 75 percent of the U.S. population living within five miles of one of its general merchandise stores, millions of Americans rely on Dollar General to provide convenient, affordable access to the everyday products they need and want, including the components of a nutritious meal such as milk and dairy products, bread, frozen and canned vegetables, canned fruits, grains and more. Dollar General also has partnered with a registered nutritionist to create DG Better For You meals, which provide healthier recipes for each meal of the day with items sourced from DG stores, and created the Good & Smart® private brand to provide yet another healthier option to customers.

The Company currently offers fresh produce in more than 1,300 stores, providing the top 20 items typically sold in grocery stores and approximately 80 percent of produce categories carried by most grocers.  Dollar General plans to expand this offering in up to 10,000 stores, including a meaningful number of stores located in food deserts.  

Feeding America Partnership
In partnering with Feeding America, Dollar General is excited to bring together the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization and the nation’s largest retailer by store count to positively impact food insecurity concerns, especially in rural America.

Dollar General’s work with Feeding America will be highlighted by a $1 million donation, as well as in-kind donations of perishable and nutritious food to community food banks. At full operational capacity, Dollar General seeks to provide up to 20 million meals each year*. This will not only help alleviate hunger in the communities it calls home, but also nearly double the number of stores in which Feeding America services. 

The partnership further aims to enhance Feeding America’s rural hunger initiatives and provide more food donations to 95 percent of member food banks across the country.  Additionally, it aims to support otherwise underserved communities with valuable food resources through Dollar General’s unique real estate footprint with approximately 75 percent of its stores serving communities of 20,000 or fewer individuals.

About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

About Dollar General Corporation
Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for more than 80 years. Dollar General helps shoppers Save time. Save money. Every day.® by offering products that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, housewares and seasonal items at everyday low prices in convenient neighborhood locations. Dollar General operated 17,426 stores in 46 states as of April 30, 2021. In addition to high-quality private brands, Dollar General sells products from America’s most-trusted manufacturers such as Clorox, Energizer, Procter & Gamble, Hanes, Coca-Cola, Mars, Unilever, Nestle, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg’s, General Mills, and PepsiCo. Learn more about Dollar General at


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