Archive For The “News” Category

Allen Lund Company Announces Record Produce Donations

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La Cañada Flintridge Calif. – Concluding its 15th year in participation, Allen Lund Company announces record produce donations for the 2018 Navidad en el Barrio event. Navidad en el Barrio, which was established in 1972 by Danny Villanueva, former NFL kicker, continues their mission to provide a healthy Christmas dinner to the most underserved families in Southern California.

“2018 was a remarkable year for Navidad en el Barrio,” states Nora Trueblood, MarCom Director for ALC, “we had growers from Texas, Idaho, Washington, and California participate this year, which translated to four full truckloads of fresh produce. We were able to provide an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables to every family, which does not happen every year.”

“What made this year especially wonderful was the new growers, many of whom we met at PMA Fresh Summit, that were first-time donors to this program,” continued Trueblood. “From potatoes, and carrots to citrus, apples, pumpkins, mixed greens, and avocados, every family had fresh items in their dinner baskets.”  The fresh items are added to a basket which includes staples featuring rice, tortillas, water, pasta, tomato sauce, beans, and fresh chicken.

ALC provided the coordination of donated product as well as the logistical support of moving produce from Texas, Idaho, Washington, and in-state California to the warehouse for distribution on December 15, 2018.  ALC contract carriers, Wanship and Chevez Express stepped in and donated their time and equipment to assist in this year’s Navidad en el Barrio event.

2018 donors included: Rainer Fruit, Bonipak Produce, Wada Farms, Grimmway, Cacique, Inc., Coca-Cola Refreshments, Faribault Foods, Mother’s Nutritional Center, Northgate Supermarkets, Wonderful Citrus, Mission Produce, Garofalo Pasta/Advantage Solutions, El Dorado Growers, Naturipe, J & D Produce, Gem-Pack Berries, Sage Fruit Company, Novamex, and American Fresh Produce.

About Allen Lund Company:

Specializing as a national third-party transportation broker with nationwide offices and over 500 employees, the Allen Lund Company works with shippers and carriers across the nation to arrange dry, refrigerated (specializing in produce), and flatbed freight; additionally, the Allen Lund Company has a logistics and software division, ALC Logistics, and an International Division licensed by the FMC as an OTI-NVOCC #019872NF. If you are interested in joining the Allen Lund Company team, please click here.  

Established in 1976, the Allen Lund Company was recognized by Logistics Tech Outlook for our software division ALC Logistics as a 2018 Top 10 Freight Management Solution Providers, 2018 Food Logistics’ Top 3PL & Cold Storage Providers list, 2017 Supply & Demand Chain Executive Top 100, 2017 Food Logistics 100+ Top Software and Tech Provider, a 2016 Top IT Provider by Inbound Logistics, 2015 Coca-Cola Challenger Carrier of the Year, 2015 Top Private Company in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal, 2015 Top 100+ Software and Technology Providers, 2015 Top 100 Logistics IT Provider by Inbound Logistics, a 2014 Great Supply Chain Partner, and was placed in Transport Topics’ “2014 Top 25 Freight Brokerage Firms.” The company manages over 365,000 loads annually, and received the 2013 “Best in Cargo Security Award.” In 2011, the company received the TIA 3PL Samaritan Award, and NASTC (National Association of Small Trucking Companies) named Allen Lund Company the 2010 Best Broker of the Year. More information is available at www.allenlund.com.

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U.S. Citrus Shipments Crashed in 2017-18 Shipping Season

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A17U.S. citrus shipments crashed big time in the 2017-18 season.

American citrus loads plunged to 6.13 million tons last season, down 20 percent compared with 2016-17 season, and a whopping 66 percent less than the record high production of 17.8 million tons in 1997-98, according to the USDA.

Total fresh U.S. citrus shipments in 2017-18 were 3.308 million tons, off 7 percent from 2016-17 and 13 percent below 2015-16.

California represented 87 percent of all U.S. fresh citrus shipments in 2017-18, compared with 7 percent from Florida, 5 percent from Texas and 1 percent from Arizona.

Florida accounted for 36 percent of total U.S. citrus loadings, compared with 59 percent for California. Texas and Arizona shipped the remaining 5 percent.

Florida Citrus Shipments

Thanks to citrus greening disease and Hurricane Irma in 2017, Florida’s citrus volume continued to plunge in the 2017-18 season.

Florida’s orange shipments stood at 45 million boxes last season, which was down 35 percent from the previous season. Grapefruit volume in Florida, at 3.88 million boxes in 2017-18, crashed by 50 percent from the previous season.  Florida’s total citrus shipments decreased 37 percent from the previous season, the USDA said.

Fresh shipments of Florida citrus were rated at 221,000 tons, down 30 percent from 317,000 tons in 2016-17 and off 50 percent from 2015-16.

Bearing citrus acreage in Florida, at 400,900 acres in 2017-18, was 9,800 acres below the 2016-17 season.

In California, the USDA reported citrus loadings dropped 7 percent from the 2016-17 season. California’s total orange shipments, at 45.4 million boxes, was 6 percent lower than the previous season. The state’s grapefruit volume was down 9 percent from the 2016-17; tangerine and mandarin loadings were off 19 percent.

California’s fresh citrus shipments was 2.88 million tons in 2017-18, down 5 percent from 2016-17 and down 9 percent from 2015-16.
In Texas, loadings of citrus was up 9 percent  from the 2016-17 season. Orange volume is up 37 percent from the previous season, but grapefruit volume was unchanged.

Texas citrus shipments was 175,000 tons in 2017-18, up 8 percent from 2016-17 and 11 percent higher than 2015-16.

Arizona lemon loadings in 2017-18 was down 35 percent from last season.  Arizona fresh citrus shipments was 32,000 tons in 2017-18, down 29 percent 2016-17 and down 32 percent from 2015-16.

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Truckers Avoiding Some Retail Chains Who are Slow at Loading, Unloading Docks

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Electronic logging device regulations have resulted in truckers being more selective with which shippers and receivers they  work.

For example, Zipline Logistics of Columbus, OH has surveyed over 150 trucking companies asking how their business has changed following the ELD mandate.  A significant 54 percent report they no longer spend as much time waiting to load or unload their truck, while 80 percent note there are shippers or receivers they refuse to go to because wait times are too long.

The Zipline report stated one respondent commented, “Locations that are known to have little to no regard for a driver’s (hours of service) are no longer serviceable.”

Another company reported it monitors load and unload times so it can avoid going to places with unreasonably long loading and unloading delays.

“Anyone that can’t unload or load on time, why go to them and waste hours?” one respondent wrote. “Time is money now.”

Over 90 percent of the companies with which Zipline works service grocery and retail facilities, and some of them named major retailers and wholesalers among the worst offenders.

“A select population of drivers are now unwilling to go into locations such as Kroger, C&S Wholesale and (United Natural Foods) because of debilitating wait times,” Zipline wrote in its report. “If this issue is to be solved, shippers and retailers will need to improve their speed of operations and better cater to the needs of truckers.”

Walmart, Supervalu, Dollar General, Aldi, Wakefern Corp., Safeway and Meijer were also mentioned in comments by survey respondents.

The Zipline report stated trucking companies were divided 60-40 on whether the ELD mandate improved safety.

Some reported that it forced drivers to stop, rest and follow hours-of-service requirements, but other companies reported drivers were speeding more, driving in inclement weather, and driving while tired to maximize their hours.

Companies pointed to the driver shortage, rather than the mandate itself, as the main cause of rising rates. However, there were a few comments about drivers leaving the industry so as not to have to deal with the new regulations. Still, most companies pegged the mandate as a contributor to higher rates rather than the main cause of them.

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Produce Trucking Rates Set Record for 2nd Quarter of 2018

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Records for both truck rates and shipping volumes were broken in the second quarter of 2018, according to a new report from the USDA.

The Agricultural Refrigerated Truck Quarterly, reviewed truck rates from April through June this year and provided an outlook for refrigerated trucks through the end of 2018.

“Indicators point to sustained high rates and tight capacity for the trucking industry, including the refrigerated truck market, through the end of 2018 and possibly beyond,” the report said.

In addition, the report said Hurricane Florence may have effects on the truck market in the months ahead, adding pressure to an already tight market.

“With demand for truck services projected to remain high, these combined factors could keep truck capacity scarce and rates high for the foreseeable future,” the report said.

Hauling the freight

Trucks continue to be the dominant carriers of freight, carrying 70.2 percent of domestic freight in 2017, according to the American Trucking Associations. Strong economic growth kept truckers rolling in the first half of the year, as real gross domestic product increased 4.2 percent in the second quarter of 2018, the USDA reported.

While the economy was heating up, unemployment reached a 10-year low of 3.8 percent in May.

Construction, manufacturing, or local driving positions through ride-sharing services offer competition to long-haul trucking positions.

Some trucking companies have increased drivers’ wages as a result.

Through the first half of 2018, ATA reported the freight tonnage hauled by trucks increased 7.9 percent,up from a 3.8 percent increase in 2017.

The report said DAT Solutions reported strong demand for trucking services caused truckload spot rates to reach a record high in June, topping a 15-month run of spot market rate increases. In the refrigerated truck market, DAT reported the national average spot market truck rate hit the highest point ever recorded, at $2.69 per mile in June, up $0.58 from June 2017, and $0.11 higher than the contract rate. While increases in contract rates typically lag four to six months, after a sustained increase in spot market rates, this year the lag has been only a few weeks.

Refrigerated truck market

Strong demand for trucks and large volumes has mostly affected truck rates for shipments of 500 to 2,500 miles, according to the USDA. The U.S. average refrigerated truck rate reached a record high in the second quarter, for shipments between 501 and 1,500 miles ($2.96 per mile), up 12 percent from the previous quarter ($2.64 per mile).

The U.S. average truck rate for shipments between 1,501 and 2,500 miles was still higher than usual at $2.45 per mile, but was 3 percent lower than the record high of $2.54 per mile, set in the first quarter of 2018. In contrast, average truck rates for shipments less than 500 miles, and over 2,500 miles, have remained within normal ranges.

Fruit and vegetable shipments

Reported U.S. truck shipments of fresh produce during the second quarter of 2018 were a record 9.65 million tons, 21 percent higher than the previous quarter, and 1 percent higher than the same quarter last year.

Shipments from Mexico were the highest in the second quarter, totaling 2.85 million tons and accounting for 30 pecent of the total reported shipments of fresh fruits and vegetables. Loadings from California totaled 2.24 million tons, accounting for 23 percent of the reported shipments. Movements from the Pacific Northwest totaled 1.55 million tons, representing 16 percent of the reported total.

The study noted until 10 years ago, California and Florida were the two biggest suppliers of fresh fruit and vegetables, during the second quarter.  In recent years, both states have lost market share to the Pacific Northwest and Mexico, the USDA said.

The volume of shipments from Mexico through Texas reached a new high of 1.30 million tons during the second quarter of 2018, an increase of 8 pecent over the same period last year (1.21 million tons).
Five commodities accounted for 42 percent of the reported truck movements during the second quarter of 2018:

  • Watermelons, seedless (11 percent);
  • Potatoes (11 pecent);
  • Apples (8 percent);
  • Onions, dry (7 percent); and
  • Strawberries (4 percent).

 

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Wreaths Across America Honors Fallen Soldiers

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WP Rawl of Pelion, S.C., a grower/shipper/processor of leafy greens, again participated in Wreaths Across America’ Honor Fleet. The company has participated in the event for the past three years, according to a news release.

Volunteers all over the U.S.honor fallen veterans each December by participating in an annual wreath-laying ceremony. The wreaths, adorned with a red bow, are placed on the graves of fallen veterans. 

The annual tribute began in 1992 with Morrill Worcester and his wife Karen Worcester at Arlington National Cemetery. In 2007 Wreaths Across America was formed to honor fallen veterans and since has grown to over 1,400 locations, in 50 states, at sea and abroad. The mission of Wreaths Across America is to ‘Remember, Honor and Teach.’ 

This year, WP Rawl picked up the wreaths in Columbia Falls, Maine and carried them to Beaufort National Cemetery in South Carolina.  The truck’s exterior was displayed with a picture of a national cemetery and included a message of awareness for Wreaths Across America. 

“It was very nice to see the turnout this past weekend at the National Cemetery in Beaufort. It was packed. I enjoyed seeing everyone pitching in and helping out,” Darren Gambill, WP Rawl truck driver and a U.S. Army Veteran.  The playing of the bagpipes was very moving. It was great to be able to experience this for the first time.”

“Many of our Rawl family members and family of employees are veterans or families of veterans,” Ashley Rawl, vice president of sales, marketing and product development for the company, said in the release. “Participating in Wreaths Across America is a great way to show our gratitude to veterans like Darren as well as honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.”

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The Average American Eats 111 Pounds Of Potatoes Each Year

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By The Idaho Potato Commission

Eagle, Idaho – It’s no surprise that during the six week period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day more Idaho® potatoes are sold than during any other time of year.  From creamy mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving to crispy latkes for Hanukkah to steaming big bakers for New Year’s Day, the versatile vegetable shines during the holiday season! While the preparation options for potatoes are endless, Idaho grows enough potatoes to feed millions of folks in the United States and around the world all year long.
 
Chew on This…

  • Approximately 311,000 acres of Idaho® potatoes (that’s about 13 billions pounds) are harvested each year.
    • That’s enough to fill 500 football stadiums 10 feet high!
  • Ninety percent of those 311,000 acres will grow russet potatoes like Burbanks, Norkotahs, Rangers and Westerns.
    • The remaining 10% will grow niche varieties like golds, reds, fingerlings and more.
  • 412 pounds of Idaho potatoes are sold every second!
  • Wondering how the potatoes are used?
    • 43% are used in processed products (frozen and dehydrated)
    • 43% are sold fresh
    • 14% are grown for certified seed
  • Idaho® potatoes are transported across the country via trucks (70%) and rail (30%).
  • What makes Idaho® potatoes different from potatoes grown in other states? It’s a combination of Idaho’s rich volcanic soil, warm days, cool nights and an abundance of clean, fresh water from the majestic mountains.
  • Who loves Idaho® potatoes the most? News Yorkers! Followed by folks from Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Visit www.idahopotato.com for more fun facts, recipes and cooking tips.

About the Idaho Potato Commission

Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho®” seal, a federally registered trademark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, give Idaho® potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance. These ideal growing conditions are what differentiate Idaho® potatoes from potatoes grown in other states. For more information, visit www.idahopotato.com

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BYU, Western Michigan To Meet In Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

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BOISE, Idaho – The 22nd Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will feature BYU and Western Michigan, after each team officially accepted invitations Sunday. The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will be played Friday, Dec. 21 at Albertsons Stadium on the campus of Boise State University. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. MST, and will air on ESPN.

This will be the sixth all-time meeting between BYU and Western Michigan. The previous five matchups all came between 1962 and 1970, with the Cougars winning three times.

 “We’re excited to host BYU for the first time and welcome back a Western Michigan program that was a great participant a few years ago,” said Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Executive Director Kevin McDonald. “This is a fantastic matchup for our community with two teams they will really be able to get behind, along with two young quarterbacks and two up-and-coming coaches.”



BYU (6-6) is making its first appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Western Michigan (7-5) is making its second trip to the game. The Broncos competed in the 2014 edition against Air Force.

The Cougars won two games in November against fellow FBS independent programs UMass and New Mexico State to secure a 6-6 record and solidify their 36th bowl appearance. BYU is back in the postseason after a one-year hiatus in 2017 snapped a streak of 12 consecutive bowl berths.


The Broncos used a late touchdown to beat Northern Illinois in their regular-season finale, snapping a three-game skid and cementing their bowl eligibility with a 7-5 record. This is Western Michigan’s ninth bowl appearance and first since playing in the Cotton Bowl following the 2016 season.

In the past we have known of some Idaho potato shippers that have provided free bowl tickets to truckers.  If you happen to have a layover and would be able to attend the game, you might check this out.

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Big Growth in Imports by the U.S. of Chilean Citrus

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Chilean citrus imports by the U.S. grew at double-digit rates in 2018.

The Chilean citrus import season ended with easy-peelers in late October and early November.  Navels are imported from June through October or so and lemons are imported by the U.S. from May through October.

This makes for a good match with the citrus season in the U.S., because 90 percent of Chile’s mandarins are shipped to the U.S. market.

Chilean citrus imports are very similar to the same varieties grown in the U.S., so that makes it very in high demand and assures increasing volume in coming years.

Chilean citrus imports to the U.S. this year have been up 30 percent.

Chilean clementine and mandarin exports grew from about 110,000 metric tons in 2017 to about 165,000 metric tons this year.

Chilean navel shipments to the U.S. — representing about 90 percent of all Chile’s navel exports — will show about a 12 percent increase compared with a year ago, and lemon shipments are projected to be 10 percent higher.

The U.S. takes about 50 to 60 percent of Chile’s lemon exports.

Chilean growers are continuing to plant more citrus trees because of strong demand from world markets.

The number of citrus exporters and new exporters, as well as citrus growers in Chile continues to increase.  This is different than for crops such as stone fruit and grapes, since there is not as much potential for growth in demand compared with citrus.

Observers believe eventually the Chilean citrus industry begin consolidating.   But currently the citrus industry continues attracting new players as it has been for the past decade.

Chile faces a similar challenge to U.S. grower/shippers as growing and labor costs increase and there is less labor availability.  This is requiring growers to become more efficient in the future, with more mechanization and increased yields.  There also is increasing competition.

Peru continues to increase its mandarin production in similar fashion to Chile.   Uruguay is looking to increase citrus exports.  Argentina lemons are now being exported to the U.S., and South African navel shipments to the U.S are growing.

This is resulting in more competition in the U.S. market, which is pressuring Chilean growers to open up new markets, diversify and offer new varieties to new markets.

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Shipping Across Borders: International Payments

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A29When shipping any produce across borders whether from the USA to Mexico or Canada or the other way around, it is always good to consider the topic of international payments. While this may appear as a miniscule and rather technical area, it is in fact can get very expensive when paying or being paid through foreign currency.

Why can cross-border payments take a bite into a business’ bottom line? The reason for that is the exchange rate you’re getting for your foreign currency. Let’s take the Canadian Dollar to USA rate as an example. For December 13, 2018, the interbank official exchange rate stands at 0.748. If you are due for a payment of US $10,000, it means you should be charging $13,361.85 Canadian. In practice, U.S banks will never exchange foreign currency for the official exchange rate – they offer a much lesser rate than that. So, if your bank currently offers a rate of 0.723 (which is within range for what most U.S banks offer) you would trade that 13,361.85 Canadian to $9,660 US – netting a loss of $340 US against your original goal of $10,000 just because you were willing to accept foreign currency payments.

There’s a better way to deal with inbound and outbound international money transfers, though. The fact some banks may be overly expensive or demonstrate abusive behavior should not deter you from international business. Of course, it is preferable that whomever you engage in business will pay you in US Dollars but in some cases that may just not be possible. There are third party providers who are able to transfer and receive money from abroad in foreign currency and exchange it to dollar for much better rates.

These companies are named money transfer companies or FX providers. There aren’t particularly known or popular in North America, but as many as 50% of the internationally trading small businesses in the UK and Australia use them. In spite of the fact that these companies have limited success to date in the North American markets in comparison with the rest of the world, they maintain a strong presence. Take OFX for example, one of the top rated for online transfers – they have offices in San Francisco with a large staff, while their headquarters are in Sydney, Australia. The firm employees more than 700 employees worldwide and is traded in the Australian stock exchange so you know that not only you are going to get better rates, your money is safe too.

 

 

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Big Boost in Produce Departments is Seen Coming to Aldi

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A14Bringing fresh produce center stage is a goal of discount retailer Aldi, which is in the midst of its $5 billion US expansion program.

The expansion includes building new stores and remodeling existing ones.

The new focus on produce includes a 40 percent expansion in the amount of product lines carried, with the produce department located at the front of the store.  Most supermarket chains are investing more in produce departments, which are considered key components in stores.

In a move a couple of decades ago, there was a trend to make produce front and center and the first department shoppers see when entering a supermarket.  With produce as an anchor in stores, many chains then look to improve their other in-store departments.

Aldi’s motion to move produce to the front and center suggests the retailer wants to be known as well-stocked store with everything the shopper needs. Additionally, once the fresh produce department is a strong anchor, stores have a tendency to follow through with other departments.

It appears that Aldi  with fresh produce, will follow trends of having clean, conventional and organic products that are conveniently packaged.  Aldi will likely add even more organic and clean options, in an effort to attract younger shoppers from 18 to 40 years old, who are after more affordable organic options.  Whether Aldi will stock more value-added products remains to be seen.

Aldi already offers attractions for Gen X and Millennial shoppers and many of their center-store products have specialty claims, be it free of artificial colors or antibiotic-free meat.

Greater emphasis on fresh often come from higher income households.  Will an expanded produce selection beyond basics higher-income shoppers at Aldi? One study shows that 93 percent of Aldi shoppers said pricing/value drove them to the format and 77 percent purchased fresh produce.  One-third of shoppers expect to shift much more of their shopping to Aldi.

On price, Aldi will remain a discount retailer, so if the

If other supermarkets want to compete with Aldi, which will remain a discount retailer, those competitors will have to lower their price or invest in other areas of the store to maintain a ‘premium’ on Aldi as well as other discounters by offering a higher level shopping experience.

Studies have shown that 60 percent to 70 percent of markets experienced price declines  of 1 to 3 percent when an ALDI opened.  Some retailers will also increase service levels, emphasize quality, organic offerings, local items and more choices in general to increase their own competitive advantage.

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