Archive For The “News” Category

Boston Market Terminal Permanently Closes its Doors

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The Boston Market Terminal’s docks, platforms, bays and aisles are now hollowed out after more than half a century filled with fresh fruit and vegetables.

Yellow construction trucks, rather than white reefer trucks, are tearing up gravel outside.

Changes are coming.

The Davis Cos., a national real estate developer, bought the place, 90% of which was owned by the Piazza family, Condakes family and DiMare family, and 10% by minority stockholders.

Produce wholesaler Community-Suffolk Inc. was the last to uproot from their 30,000 square feet of operating space at the Everett, MA complex in early 2021.

Their fourth-generation family company was also one of the first to plant themselves at the 110,000-square-foot rail and truck terminal on almost 18 acres of land abutting the New England Produce Center in Chelsea, both just outside Boston.

Since the developer’s $28.5 million purchase, announced December 2019, the terminal’s six wholesalers and other businesses and organizations have closed for good or scattered to other facilities nearby.

The property may be redeveloped into an Amazon distribution center.

For now, the warehouses are devoid of the hum of daily wholesale produce business.

American Fruit Distributors went out of business.

Community-Suffolk’s citrus operations are at the New England Produce Center and its vegetable operations are at 95 Market St., Chelsea, which is only 500 feet from the front gate of the market terminal.

New England Banana Co. merged its ripening and wholesale operations in an offsite warehouse it already owned.

James Praski, Massachusetts officer-in-charge for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crops Market News, said terminal business was fading over the past several years as retail chains built their own warehouses and hired their own buyers to deal directly with distributors, growers and shippers. In reaction, terminal markets such as the Boston market shifted toward more foodservice business.  

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Air Cargo Demand in January Returns to Pre-pandemic Levels

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January 2021 data for global air cargo markets shows demand returned to pre-Covid or January 2019 levels for the first time since the beginning of the crisis, according to The International Air Transport Association.

January demand also revealed strong month-to-month growth over December 2020 levels.

All comparisons made in this news release are between January 2019, which followed a normal demand pattern, and 2021 due to distorted monthly results throughout 2020.

To start, global demand, measured in cargo ton-kilometers (CTK), was up 1.1 percent compared to January 2019 and increased 3 percent in comparison to December 2020.

All regions saw month-to-month improvement in air cargo demand, and North America with 27.4 percent of world share and Africa with 2.1 percent were the strongest performers at an 11.7 percent increase and 21.2 percent, respectively.

Due to new capacity cuts on the passenger side, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTK), the recovery in global capacity shrank 19.5 percent and fell 5 percent compared to December 2020, the first monthly decline since April 2020.

North America saw a decrease of 6.8 percent, Europe a 19.9 percent drop and Latin America a 30.7 percent drop in ACTK.

Conditions in the manufacturing sector remain robust despite new Covid-19 outbreaks that dragged down passenger demand.

The global manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was at 53.5 in January, indicating growth from the prior month.

The new export orders component of the manufacturing PMI continued to point to further CTK improvement, though the performance of the metric was less robust compared with fourth-quarter 2020 as Covid-19 cases rose.

“Air cargo traffic is back to pre-crisis levels and that is some much-needed good news for the global economy. But while there is a strong demand to ship goods, our ability is capped by the shortage of belly capacity normally provided by passenger aircraft,” Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO said.

“That should be a sign to governments that they need to share their plans for a restart so that the industry has clarity in terms of how soon more capacity can be brought online. In normal times, a third of world trade by value moves by air.”

“This high-value commerce is vital to helping restore COVID damaged economies—not to mention the critical role air cargo is playing in distributing lifesaving vaccines that must continue for the foreseeable future,” de Juniac said.

January Regional Performance

North American, Middle Eastern and African carriers posted increases in international cargo demand in January compared to the same month in 2019 with 8.5 percent, 6.0 percent and 22.4 percent, respectively.

Asia-Pacific, European and Latin American carriers reported declines of 3.2 percent, 0.6 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively.

International capacity decreased throughout all six regions compared to numbers from January 2019.

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Keeping It Fresh: What a Difference a Year Makes

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By Matt Minthorn, Manager, ALC Phoenix

It is safe to say that the first quarter of 2020 was nothing that anyone in society had experienced in the past.

On January 9th, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a mysterious Coronavirus-related pneumonia in Wuhan, China. Most of the rest of the world didn’t pay much attention and we were all going about with our lives totally unaware of the drastic changes to come. By January 20th, the CDC reported that three U.S. airports would begin screening for Coronavirus, JFK International, San Francisco International and Los Angeles International.

Then on January 21st, a Washington state resident became the first confirmed case of Coronavirus after returning from Wuhan, China.  On January 23rd, Wuhan, China went under quarantine as well as nearby Huanggang, putting 18 million residents under strict quarantine.  As we all know, things rapidly progressed from there. On January 31st, the WHO issued a global health emergency for only the sixth time in history.

February 2nd saw global air travel restricted from certain countries and required testing or quarantine before passengers could leave for their destinations. February 3rd the U.S. declared a public health emergency. Cases continued to rise around the globe and fear began permeating society. On March 11th, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, stating the alarming level of spread and severity as well as the alarming levels of inaction to prevent the spread.

On March 13th, President Trump declared it a national emergency allowing billions of dollars of federal funding to be allocated to fight the spread. On the same day he issued a travel ban on non-U.S. citizens traveling to the U.S. from several European countries. 

On March 19th, California became the first state to issue a statewide stay-at-home order mandating all residents to stay home except to go to an essential job or shop for essential needs. This led to many sectors of the economy coming to a grinding halt and consumers mass buying essential (or not so essential, toilet paper?) items, stripping shelves and throwing the retail supply chain into chaos. This trend followed across the nation as state after state began issuing the same stay-at-home mandates. 

My home state of Arizona followed on March 20th, thus all non-essential business halted and the state was on a semi-lockdown. Lines at grocery stores, home improvement supply stores, pharmacies and Costco in particular were insane and shelves were quickly bare.  Providing food and essential items suddenly became vital to keeping society fed and supplied with the items necessary to adequately prevent spread of the virus and care for those that were unfortunately afflicted with COVID-19.

There was a tremendous decline in the need for transportation in the non-essential sector of the economy and a large increase in those essential businesses. However, struggles emerged throughout the supply chain to maintain the extreme level of production that demand was driving.

Entire production facilities were shut down due to cases and exposures, normal production schedules and timing was pushed out farther and farther and there became an excess in carrier capacity due to these circumstances as we moved into April. Average freight rates across the country took a nose dive and hit lows that we hadn’t seen in years.

Carriers began to run out of operating funds and a vast number of carriers ended up out of business over the second quarter of 2020.

So where are we today, a little more than a year after the first stay-at-home mandates were issued? Most states have re-opened fully or are close to resuming life as close to “normal” as possible.

In relation to the freight market, increased manufacturing and demand for all types of products has increased steadily as states reopen. The recent severe weather has also drastically affected freight demand and rates in most of the U.S. Spot rates for vans are currently up 34% over 2020 through February and reefer spot rates are up 28.5% in the same period nationwide.

Last March there was still a higher level of demand as restocking was driving the market with much more volume. April saw a tremendous decline in demand and saw rates drop to levels seen during the manufacturing recession of 2016.

Our comparable data for rates April 2020 versus this year will likely be even more dramatic than our current numbers, likely up 40% year over year. In the majority of the domestic fresh produce industry, we are approaching our peak seasons from several regions, including California and Arizona.

Rates will continue to be firm and demand for capacity from these regions will spike as we move through the second quarter. Shippers can help assure capacity by having flexible schedules, increased lead times on tenders and most importantly, understanding of the current market conditions when working with their carrier and broker partners. No one could have predicted the last year in perishable transportation, but we’ve all learned how to adapt and excel in this “new normal”.  


Matt Minthorn is the manager of the Phoenix office. He was previously the assistant manager, refrigerated department Boston office, and has been with the Allen Lund Company for 19 years. Minthorn is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a degree in business administration and has 20 years experience in produce sales and transportation.

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Colombia Ramps up Avocado Exports to U.S.; Seeks to Become Alternative Supplier

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Since gaining market access to the U.S. in August 2017, Colombian Hass avocado exports have increased significantly and industry stakeholders are optimistic about a bright future.

CorpoHass is a national industry organization which represents two of the worlds largest avocado companies, Westfalia and Mission Produce. These pair of companies have extensive operations and growth plans in Columbia.

CorpoHass reports exports have grown much faster rate than was expected.

While Colombia shipped only 29 metric tons (MT) of Hass avocados to the U.S. market in 2017, that number rose to 346MT in 2018, followed by 1404MT the following year.

In 2020 through November, 2943MT were exported. 

These numbers pale in comparison to the supplies Mexico and Peru ship to the U.S. – as well as volumes shipped by Colombia to the EU, its leading market. However, they indicate a strong upward trend is set to continue well into the future and eventually position Colombia as a reliable alternative avocado supplier to the U.S. 

CorpoHass is predicting an annual growth of at least 50 percent.

The company notes exports to new markets like the U.S. depend on compliance with the operational work plan. This includes the control and monitoring of quarantine pests both on the property and in the buffer zone for a determined minimum period.

In the middle of 2019, the phytosanitary protocol was relaxed. This has allowed exports not only to be greater in volume but also more frequent, especially during the slower part of the harvest.

As of December 23, 2020, the last update date, there were 94 licensed farms in six departments and 15 packing plants in five departments. This number is constantly increasing.

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Boosted by Lockdowns, U.S. Potato Sales Hit Record in 2020

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Total potato sales at retail hit five-year record highs for both dollar and volume sales in 2020, according to Potatoes USA.

Potatoes were consistently one of the highest performing produce items in terms of year-on-year growth, as consumers looked to purchase longer-lasting fruit and vegetables during the lockdowns.

Dollar sales increased by 16% compared to 2019 and all categories, except deli-prepared sides, grew by double-digit dollar sales.

Dehydrated recorded the highest sales increases in dollars by 30% and volume sales by 25%. Canned and bottled saw the second-largest dollar increase at 29%, and frozen had the second-largest volume increase at 23%.

The largest growth in dollar and volume sales for potatoes occurred from April through June – the onset of the pandemic – although all months grew by over 9% for both metrics.

Fresh sales increased by almost 21% in dollars and 15% in volume. All types increased in dollar and volume sales by at least 6%.

Within the fresh category, medley potatoes had the highest dollar and volume sales increase with dollar sales by 34% and volume sales by 38%.

While all package sizes saw double-digit growth in dollar sales, one-pound through four-pound bags saw the largest increase, growing by 24% in dollars and 19% in volume.

Five-pound bags make up 47% of all package sizes bought at retail, and grew in dollars and volume sales by double-digits compared to 2019.

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Keeping It Fresh: From Sprout to Store

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By Iyer Amruthur, Business Development Specialist, ALC San Antonio

Guanajuato, Michoacán, Puebla, Jalisco, and Sonora. What do these names all have in common, despite possibly being unknown to you as an average consumer?

They combine to account for most of the 31,900 hectares (98,595 acres) devoted by Mexico for broccoli farming. 70% of the product ends up being sold to primarily the U.S., followed by Canada, Japan, and some European countries as well.

It is also the main export of Guanajuato. So, why does this matter?  Just like you, I buy my broccoli from HEB here in Texas (although you may have a Kroger, Publix, or even Walmart in your areas). It’s one of the many year-round vegetables my family enjoys. And recently if you’ve caught the news, the weather has been pretty awful for us in Texas.

Inevitably, especially with border shipments, we see adverse weather throw hurdles into the logistics game. At times the border even shuts down, to the dismay of both the U.S. and Mexico. Some 16,000 trucks pass through the border town of Laredo, TX every day, and this accounts for 37% of all our trade between the U.S. and Mexico.

As you can guess, when those 16,000 trucks can’t move, it’s going to create some big delays! How does this affect you? Many people end up confused as to why weather in Texas causes some stores to run out of broccoli, hike prices, or have older product in places like Chicago.

While we have many sources of produce, our nation’s grocery stores aim to hit between the best price and the best quality which sometimes means an import! As you must have heard, not just Laredo, but most of Texas shut down its highways and freight came to a standstill. Even at my local HEB, you can see a reduced selection of fruits and vegetables at higher prices.

Grocery chains work hard to do whatever it takes to make sure you have what you need when you enter the store, and nothing exceeds the urgency of perishable goods. Here at ALC we work with our grocery customers to smooth things out. There are things we can do as a team, that are difficult to do from a company’s in-house logistics.

We can navigate the massive amounts of information, rescheduling, constantly shifting prices/supply of trucks, arrange transportation from other sources around the country and put it together in a fashion that provides an immediate solution. During poor weather conditions, 3PLS are some of the last doors that close, and with our expertise and resources, we can even provide solutions remotely.

Weather is Mother Nature’s way of throwing us curveballs and we strive to be able to react to our customers’ needs. Our goal is to ensure the consumer can count on fresh quality products available in their local stores no matter the weather in Texas or Chicago.


Iyer Amruthur is a business development specialist in the ALC San Antonio office and has two years of logistics experience. Iyer attended The University of Georgia where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, with a minor in Communications.

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Philaport is the East Coast’s Fastest-Growing Container Port

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A seven percent increase in container volumes in 2020 at the Port of Philadelphia (PhilaPort) has resulted in making it the fastest-growing container port on the U.S. East Coast. 

These cargo levels follow a decade-long trend for the port which has seen 10 percent compound annual growth. 

Despite the shipping challenges due to COVID-19, PhilaPort has apparently done well. While the pandemic has created difficulties for global supply chains, some sectors such as perishables, have risen due to a demand for fresh, non-processed foods.

PhilaPort expressed particular pride in its cold supply chain expertise for all types of perishable cargo products including grapes, bananas, pineapples, mangos, plantains, blueberries, and asparagus, among others.

For breakbulk alone, PhilaPort terminals handled 928,000 tons. Containerized forest products were estimated to be 20,000 units.

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Tribe Builds Fleet with Carrier Transicold Solar Panel Refrigeration Units

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By Carrier Transicold

GAINESVILLE, GA – Tribe Transportation is expanding its fleet with 111 new 53-foot trailers equipped with Carrier Transicold X4™ 7500 refrigeration units to help it meet demand in the fast-growing life sciences sector, which includes the transport of pharmaceutical products. Carrier Transicold is a part of Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR), a leading global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions.

The acquisition includes Carrier Transicold TRU-Mount solar panels, which help to maintain the charge of the refrigeration unit batteries. Additionally, Tribe acquired 100 Carrier Transicold ComfortPro® diesel auxiliary power units (APUs) to help maintain cab climate control for its drivers.

“The new refrigeration units, with their high capacities, precise temperature control and proven reliability, are helping us to meet the exacting needs of our pharmaceutical and life sciences customers,” said Todd Gooch, Vice President of Transportation for the Gainesville, Georgia-based fleet.

Native American woman-owned Tribe Transportation is one of the fastest-growing minority carriers in North America. Now in its 16th year of operation, the fleet has more than 400 tractors and nearly 900 trailers, serving the refrigerated and deep-frozen freight needs of its expanding customer base.

“We haul everything from candy and produce to ice cream and cryogenic pharmaceutical products, and that unit serves us best over a wide array of customers,” Gooch said about the X4 7500 model, Carrier Transicold’s highest capacity trailer refrigeration unit.

For temperature monitoring and asset tracking, Tribe’s trailers are equipped with telematics devices powered by the refrigeration units’ batteries. Carrier Transicold’s high-performance TRU-Mount solar charging system supplements battery charging, helping to keep all trailers visible through Tribe’s telematics system.  “That’s a big plus for us,” Gooch explained, noting that in a drop-type environment where a trailer may be parked without the refrigeration unit running, the battery could lose its charge without the support of the solar panel. Tribe considers the panel’s secure mounting to the top of the refrigeration unit an advantage because it stays with the unit if it is relocated to another trailer.

The fully featured ComfortPro diesel APUs provide air conditioning, heating, cab power, engine warming, and truck battery monitoring and charging. In addition to reducing engine wear and fuel consumption, the APUs improve comfort, which helps with driver retention.

“The APUs are rock solid and the drivers love them,” Gooch said, adding that Tribe’s commitment to the Carrier Transicold brand extends beyond the local dealership, MHC Carrier Transicold, to the entire Carrier Transicold dealer network, which provides service support to the fleet throughout the contiguous United States and Canada.

“Tribe’s fleet expansion moves the cold chain forward to help ensure that medicines reach the people who need them,” said Bill Maddox, Senior Manager, Product Management, Carrier Transicold. “We are pleased to support this effort, at a time when it matters most.”

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Growth of Fruit Imports by U.S. Nearly Ground to a Halt in 2020

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U.S. fruit imports into the U.S. for 2020 lost a decade of momentum, although there were gains for fresh citrus and frozen fruit, according to new USDA data.

Imports under the ‘Fruits and Preparations’ category – which includes all fresh, frozen and processed fruit – rose marginally to $19.9 billion in 2020 from $19.8 billion in 2019. 

The minor increase comes in contrast to the impressive and steady annual growth the category has witnessed since 2010, when imports were registered at $10.4 billion.

The largest category,  ‘Other Fresh Fruit’ – which includes avocados, bananas, and berries – held steady at $10.1 billion. Avocados dropped by 12 percent to $2.3 billion, bananas dropped by 2 percent to $1.9 billion, blueberries fell by 5 percent to $982 million, and strawberries declined by 2 percent to $819 million.

Deciduous fruit imports also remained flat at $2.2 billion. Table grapes rose by 4 percent to $1.7 billion, but apples fell by 18 percent to $110 million.

Meanwhile, fruit juices fell by 13 percent to $1.8 billion and processed fruit rose by 2 percent to $1.8 billion.

Citrus imports rose by 11 percent to $1.4 billion, driven mainly by growth in mandarins and to a lesser extent in oranges. 

Frozen fruit rose by 26 percent to $1.1 billion, fresh melons fell by 12 percent to $607 million, while dried fruit rose by 10 percent to $520 million, and prepared fruit grew by 14 percent to $504 million.

Looking at the different supplying countries across the total fruit category, imports from Mexico and Chile both fell by 3 percent to $8.2 billion and $1.9 billion, respectively.

Peru was the biggest winner of the top five countries, with imports into the U.S. growing by 17 percent to $1.7 billion. Meanwhile, imports from Guatemala fell by 2 percent to $1.9 billion, while from Costa Rica they rose by 2 percent to $1.1 billion.

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Mann Packing Co. Adds 5th Facility to Lineup of West Coast Operations

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CORAL GABLES, Fla.–Mann Packing Co., Inc. (“Mann”), a subsidiary of Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc., and one of the largest suppliers of packaged vegetables in North America announces the opening of its new facility in Gonzales, CA.

Joining a lineup of facilities in Salinas, CA, Chualar, CA, Delhi, CA, and Yuma, AZ, the new fifth facility will allow Mann Packing to grow its business, elevate its existing operations to unprecedented new heights and provide an innovative new space to help the brand continue to meet consumer needs.

The new facility, boasts 130,000 square feet of state-of-the-art production for fruit and vegetables with full-fledged automation, increased capacity and with the ability to continue expanding. In addition, the Gonzales facility holds a variety of features designed to strengthen Mann Packing’s focus on food safety and quality, including its full cold chain from reception of raw material to delivery of finished product to ensure freshness, its improved environmental monitoring program and its updated QMS technology for instant information sharing.


Founded in 1939 and headquartered in Salinas, CA, Mann Packing Company is one of the largest suppliers of western vegetables, BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli and sugar snap peas in North America. In 2018, Mann’s was acquired by Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc.


Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. is one of North America’s leading marketers and distributors of high-quality fresh and fresh-cut fruit and vegetables. Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. markets its products in North America under the Del Monte® brand (as well as other brands) used under license from Del Monte Foods, Inc., a symbol of product innovation, quality, freshness and reliability for over 125 years. Del Monte Fresh N.A., Inc. is not affiliated with certain other Del Monte companies around the world, including Del Monte Foods, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Del Monte Pacific Limited, Del Monte Canada, or Del Monte Asia Pte. Ltd.

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