Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

Fewer U.S. Cranberries This Season; NJ Peaches are Experiencing Increase

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IMG_2991+1Nationally, cranberry shipments will be down this season.  Meanwhile, favorable weather helps boost New Jersey to second place nationally in peach shipments.

Cranberry growers in Wisconsin are expected to have another big harvest this fall, although it will be less than last year when average yields reached an all-time high.

The USDA has released its latest forecast for the 2017 cranberry crop showing Badger State producers are projected to rake in 5.6 million barrels of the tart fruit, down nine percent from the 2016 crop.

The Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association says producers will begin harvesting their crop in late September and continue through much of October.  Approximately five percent of the state’s cranberries will be sold as fresh fruit, with the remainder being frozen and stored for dried cranberries, juices, sauces and more.

Nationally, about 9.05 million barrels are forecast to be harvested, down six percent from 2016.  In Massachusetts, growers will harvest less than half of Wisconsin’s total production at 2.2 million barrels. Washington producers expect 2017 to be a good year due to favorable weather conditions.

NJ Peach Shipments

by New Jersey Department of Agriculture

TRENTON)  –The USDA’s August Crop Production Forecast for 2017 sees New Jersey peach shipments rising to second in the U.S.  The forecast, which is based on phone calls, mail, internet, and personal interviews with farmers in New Jersey and around the country, predicts state peach farmers will produce 48 million pounds of peaches this year.

“Conditions in New Jersey have been perfect for growing peaches this season, allowing farmers to have an extremely high yield of the juicy, sweet tree fruit,” New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher said. “We want people to know Jersey Fresh peaches are plentiful and available at supermarkets, farmers markets, and roadside stands. We appreciate the work the USDA does to keep produce buyers and consumers up to date on the current trends in the industry.”

New Jersey is on track to harvest approximately eight million more pounds of peaches in 2017 than it did last year, and is behind only California in peach production.  The Jersey peach season should continue through mid-September.

The USDA surveyed approximately 21,700 producers for the crop production report. The producers were asked questions about probable yield.  These growers will continue to be surveyed throughout the growing season to provide indications of average yields.

The August Crop Production report also forecasted a crop of 44 million pounds of apples for the Garden State, also up from last year. New Jersey cranberry producers expect to harvest 590,000 barrels, which would rank New Jersey third in the U.S. in cranberry production.

(Editor’s Note:  Both South Carolina and Georgia suffered severe crop losses this year due to a spring freeze, allowing New Jersey to come in second in peach volume.  Also, virtually all of New Jersey cranberry production is for the processed market, not fresh.)


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California Shipping Update for both Tomatoes and Table Grapes

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DSCN9836The last half of summer is typically good for hauling California tomatoes as well as California table grapes.

California’s San Joaquin Valley mature green summer tomato shipments started in late July and will continue into November.  About 500 truck loads of mature greens are being loaded weekly.

Caution is recommended when loading this product.  There’s been some triple digit weather this season, which can stress the product and lead to quality issues.  The weather is supposed to be in the mid to upper 90s this week in the Merced area, but inching towards the 100 mark by next weekend.  However, in Brawley, scorching temperatures well above 100 are predicted all week.

In the San Diego and Baja California areas summer vine ripe tomatoes and romas are being shipping in a similar timeframe as those in the San Joaquin Valley.  California tomato shipments have been good this summer as weather has impacted tomato seasons in Alabama, Virginia and Tennessee.

California Grape Shipments

Sun Pacific Marketing Cooperative Inc., based in Pasadena, CA is perhaps better known for its easy peel Cuties brand clementines and mandarins, as well as it Mighties brand kiwifruit.

However, it has become a significant player with table grape shipments and this season should move about 4 million cartons of grapes from the San Joaquin Valley.  The company is looking to increase it grape volume by as much as 50 percent over the next few seasons.

California has steady loadings with grapes now and is averaging around 1700 truckloads per week.  The vast majority of the fruit is still being shipped from the southern half of the valley, but this will gradually shift to greater tonnage coming out of more northern parts of the valley as we approach fall.

During the past decade more than two dozen grape varieties – red, green and black, have been introduced.  This is leading to fruit with larger berries, more crunch and sweeter taste.

San Joaquin Valley grapes – grossing about $6200 to New York City.



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Overall USDA Apple Shipping Forecast is Looking Good, Despite Drop in Volume

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applepixA USDA crop production report predicts U.S. apple shipments will be down 7 percent compared to last season.

The apple crop (both fresh and processed uses) should total 248.6 million 42-pound cartons, off from the 268.4 million cartons in the 2016 season. year ago.

On the up side, apple shipments from the Eastern state will increase.  However, a significant decline in apple volume is predicted for the Central U.S. states, while a moderate decrease is seen in Western growing regions.

The Western states, led by Washington, are projected to total 170.4 million cartons, down 9 percent from a year ago, according to the estimates.  The Washington apple harvest is running a few weeks later than 2016, according to the USDA, with good quality but slightly smaller fruit expected compared with the 2016 crop.

Washington state apple shipments are  pegged at 159.5 million cartons, off 9 percent from the 2016 crop of 174.3 million cartons.  The state is expected tol account for 64 percent of total U.S. apple shipments in 2017, down from 65 percnt in 2016.
In Eastern U.S. states, apple loadings are forecast at 55.7 million cartons, up 8 percent from 2016.  New York, accounting for half of Eastern apple shipments, has a crop of 28.5 million cartons, up slightly from 28.1 million cartons a year ago.  Growers and shippers there reported localized hail damage and noted rainfall and cool temperatures could affect fruit size, according to the report.
Apple shipments in the Central U.S. is forecast at 22.5 million cartons, down 27 percent from a year ago.  A freeze in early May hurt Michigan crop prospects, according to the USDA. Michigan’s crop is projected at 19 million cartons, down more than 30 percent from 2016 output of nearly 28 million cartons.
In its Agricultural Prices report, the USDA said the average grower price for apples in June was 36.3 cents per pounds, down from 38 cents per pound in June last year.
The U.S. Apple Association will release its annual crop production estimate during the Apple Crop Outlook & Marketing Conference Aug. 24-25 in Chicago

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California Shipping Update with Salinas Lettuce and San Joaquin Valley Grapes

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DSCN9845Salinas Valley lettuce shipments continue with less ups and down in volume.  Meanwhile, San Joaquin Valley table grape shipments will enter it biggest volume period of the season starting in September.

After a rocky start last spring hauling head lettuce and leaf lettuce out of the Salinas Valley, shipments have become more reliable and steady in the second half of the season.

However, there seems to be less overall volume this year, due in part to the stormy, water deluged fields earlier this year, and the fact a number of head or Iceberg major growers reduced acreage, in part because of the weather and partly due to past low prices.  Those can result from over production, but just as importantly a lot of homegrown and eastern commercial operations are in full production from the Northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada.

Salinas Iceberg shippers are averaging over 1200 truck loads of product a week, and over 900 truck loads of romaine.

Leaf Lettuce Shipments

Spring plantings of leaf lettuce were erratic in a similar fashion to head lettuce.  Items such a romaine, as well green and red leaf lettuce shipments haven’t been exceptional this season out of Salinas.  There are freight advantages for buyers on the East Coast sourcing product much closer to home than California.  As a result, a lot of California lettuce shipments are limited to the Western U.S.

Salinas Valley lettuce shipments, as well as broccoli, cauliflower and other vegetables – grossing about $4100 to Dallas, $7000 to New York City.

Grape Shipments

A generally hot weather pattern in the San Joaquin Valley since May apparently hasn’t hurt table grape quality, but if it continues could affect the quality of product being distributed around the country – particularly with red grapes and black grapes.  It’s not unusual for the valley to have hot spells in summer, but not stretching out this long.

California growers are expected to ship 111.4 million 19-pound boxes of grapes this season topping last season’s nearly 109 million boxes.  Over 60 percent of the volume will be shipped after September 1st.

San Joaquin Valley grapes, stone fruit and apples – grossing about $4600 to Chicago.

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Washington Stone Fruit Volume is Peaking: Mango Shipping Update

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Stone or soft fruit shipments from Washington state are peaking.  Meanwhile, here’s a round up mango shipments from key countries.

As the Washington state summer soft fruit shipping season enters final months, peak loadings are now underway for the next month.

For example, Stemilt Growers LLC of Wentachee, WA will be peaking with shipment of  Artisan Organic peaches and nectarines that started in late July.

Based in south central Washington state, Artisan Organics peaches and nectarines are grown in arid and almost desert-like climates.  These climates coincide with warm days, which allow peaches and nectarines to achieve high sugar levels and cool nights that allow the tree to rest and give stone fruit the opportunity to establish beautiful coloring. The climate combined with volcanic soils gives peaches and nectarines the necessary nutrients to flourish.

The company’s Douglas family transistioned to growing organic fruit about a decade ago.

Washington stone fruit, apples and pears – grossing about $4800 to Chicago.

Mango Update

by National Mango Board

The Mango Crop Report from the National Mango Board has been updated.

Mango volume shipped on week ending 7/29/17 was approximately 3.2 million boxes.

  • During the same week last year, volume shipped was approximately 2.9 boxes.

Mexico Mango Shipments

  • Mexican mango shipping season began in January and will run until October with a projection of approximately 74 million boxes.

Volume on week ending 7/29/17

  • Volume shipped from Mexico was approximately 3.2 million boxes for a total of 62 million boxes for the season.
  • During the same week last year, volume shipped from Mexico was approximately 2.9 million boxes for a total of 60.4 million boxes.

Haiti Mango Crop

  • The Haitian season began in March and will ran until August with a projection of approximately 2.1 million boxes.

Volume on week ending 7/29/17

  • Volume shipped from Haiti was approximately 5,053 boxes for a total of 2.2 million boxes for the season. During the same week last year, volume shipped from Haiti was not available.

Brazil Mango Crop

  • The Brazilian season will begin in August and will run until November with a projection of 7.8 million boxes.

Please note:

  • U.S. entry ports report incoming mango volume on different schedules; some report daily and some weekly. This will cause discrepancies between the volume shipped from the source and the volume arrived at the U.S. entry ports in any given week.
  • Boxes are 8.8 lbs (4.0 kg). Boxes from Haiti are 9.9 lbs (4.5 kg)

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2018 Should Mean Big Rebound in California Avocado Shipments

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DSCN98462018 will be a big rebound for California avocado shipments, if some observers are correct.   Conventional avocado volume is expected to hit  2.275 billion pounds in 2017.

The Hass Avocado Board of Mission Viejo, CA believes there will be a 90 million-pound increase from 2,189 billion pounds in 2016.  There should be a lot more avocados for hauling next year, with early projections ranging from 400 million to 425 million pounds.  Those statistics include avocados from California, Peru, Chile and the Dominican Republic.

Mexico exported 1.7 billion pounds of avocados to the U.S. the shipping year ending in June, which was off from the original estimate of almost 2 billion pounds.

U.S. avocado volume has been increasing an average of about 15 percent over the past 10 to 15 years, but 2017 was the first year when the total shipments declined.

As supplies of California and Peruvian fruit taper off in late August and into early September, loading opportunities will be limited until Mexico’s aventajada crop starts ramping up in September.  California’s 200-million-pound crop was about half the size of last year’s.

With Mexico’s next crop starting in September, it is expected to significantly boost loading opportunities with an expected  1,000 or more trucks per week.  Mexico will hit its stride after Labor Day,with 45 million to 50 million-pound being shipped a week.

Peru doubled its exports to the U.S. this year compared to 2016, according to the Peruvian Avocado Commission in Washington, D.C.

Peruvian growers will export 140 million pounds of avocados to the U.S. this summer, compared with 70 million pounds last year, and  next year’s crop should be even larger.

About Hass Avocado Board

The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) is an agriculture promotion group established in 2002 to promote the consumption of Hass Avocados in the United States. A 12-member board representing domestic producers and importers of Hass Avocados directs HAB’s promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Funding for HAB comes from Hass avocado producers and importers in the United States.

Ventura County cabbage and greens – grossing about $6900 to New York City.

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Pennsylvania Apple Shipments are Underway; California Apple Loading Update

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DSCN9847Pennsylvania apple shipments have started, plus an update on how apples are moving from California operations.

Rice Fruit Co. of Gardners, Pennsylvania have recently started its stone fruit season, which will continue until Labor Day.  Shipments started with the company’s  Premier Honeycrisp apple, an early season Honeycrip varietal.  It will be shipped until mid-August.

The apple grower/shipper started with stonefruit, which is a short, fast and furious season, before quickly turning to apples, including the seasonal varietal ginger gold, the first-to-market Premier Honeycrisp and shortly thereafter, gala.

Rice Fruit Co. today is the largest fresh apple packing facility east of the Mississippi.  Besides the fruit grown by R&L Orchards, the company packs fruit for about 75 other fruit-growing families, mostly in Adams County, but some from as far away as Virginia and New York. The company packs fruit year-round, using 18 controlled atmosphere storage rooms. In the spring and summer months, it also stores and repacks fruit from the southern hemisphere.

California Apple Shipments

California’s apple shipments got underway in mid-July and continues through early October.  The early California apple forecast projects  about 1.6 million boxes of which about 1.2 million boxes will go to processing.

No doubt California is a minor shipper of apples compared to Washington state that ships more apples in a week than the Golden State does over an entire year.  California does not store apples, unlike Washington which places most of its fruit in storage for a near year around shipping season.

Calfiornia is the first state in the U.S. to ship apples from a new crop every year.

Although a large percentage of California apples are sold domestically, nearly 20 percent of California apple volume is moved offshore to places such as Canada, Mexico and Southeast Asia.

Primavera Marking of Linden, CA, which ships 90 percent of its apples to retailers,  just started harvesting Galas the week of July 24   It will start shipping Fujis around Aug. 15, Granny Smiths around Aug. 28 and Pink Ladies the week of Oct. 16.


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Growing Imports are Providing Greater Opportunities for Produce Haulers

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DSCN9856The opportunities for produce haulers to haul imported fresh fruit and vegetables continues to increase as foreign farming operations increasingly recognize the demand in the United States and Canada for year around availability of produce.  Here we take a look at the exports of two South American countries, who are exporting a majority of their fresh produce to North America.

 Peruvian Blueberries

Five years ago there were virtually no blueberries being grown, much less exported by Peru.  Today, the South American country has 10,000 acres and continues to expand due to surging demand from the U.S., Europe, and China, according to the USDA report.

The U.S. is Peru’s primary export market, account for over 50 percent of blueberry exports in 2016 (54 percent).   Much fewer “blues” are exported to the Netherlands (24 percent), the UK (13 percent) and Canada (2 percent).
The USDA report points out total exports of Peruvian blueberries are projected to reach 40,000 metric tons in 2017, up 42 percent from 28,139 metric tons in 2016 and nearly four times the exports of 10,303 metric tons in 2015.  The bulk of Chile’s fresh blueberry exports to the U.S. arrive from September to December, though export shipments can begin in August and continue into April.
The majority of Peru’s blueberry farms are found in the northern coastal region of La Libertad, where the sunny and dry climate allows for nearly year-round harvest.
Peru’s blueberries rank third among that country’s fresh fruit exports.
Peruvian Asparagus
While Peruvian asparagus exports are expected to be lighter than normal during the first half of the season, shipments are expected to make up a lot of ground the second half of the season. However, by season’s end, total volume is expected to be close to normal.  Peak Peruvian exports should kick in around Labor Day.

Chilean Grape Wrap up

Grape exports to North America by Chile rose 11 percent in the 2016-17 season.  The Chilean Fresh Fruit Exporters Association reports that exports to North America totaled 364,770 metric tons, up 11 percent compared with 2015-16.
Additionally the USDA confirms U.S. imports of Chilean grapes from October 2016 through May 2017 totaled 341,000 metric tons, up 10 percent from the previous year.
North America buyers received half of Chile’s total 2016-17 exports of just more than 730,000 metric tons.  Chilean grape exports to all global destinations were up 4 percent in 2016-17.
In 2016-17, the Far East received 23 percent of Chilean grape exports, with Europe taking 17 percent and other destinations accounting for 9 percent of exports.

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Washington Potato Shipments are Underway; Plus Updates on Vidalia Onions and BC Blueberries

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DSCN9805Washington potato shipments for the new season are underway, while Vidalia onion loadings continue.  In British Columbia (BC), blueberry shipments are in peak volume.

Washington state’s potato season got underway in July with some early variety chipping varieties, followed by some colored varieties out of the Yakima Valley.  Then came some early processing spuds, followed by fresh market russets.

Fresh potato acerage in Washington has been stable at about 25,000 acres  for several years now.  Around 70 percent of the state’s potatoes are destined for export markets, comprised mostly of  processed products.   Most of Washington tablestock potatoes are shipped to Canada, Mexico and Taiwan. The state also has red potatoes coming out of the Skagit Valley.

While Washington potato sheds ship russets the year-round, its red, yellow and white potatoes usually are finished by March or April.

Vidalia Onion Shipments

Steady volume with Vidalia onions is expected to continue through Labor Day.  Truck shipments are expected to be very similar to last year’s total volume of 6.2 million 40-pound boxes, coming off of Southeastern Georgia’s nearly 12,000 acres,  As of July 26, there were still about 750,000 40-pound cartons of onions remaining in storage.

Bland Farms of Glennville, GA,  expects to be shipping Vidalia onions out of storage through late August or early September, with a smooth transition expected to Peruvian imports in September. Imported Peruvian onions will continue for the U.S. into early next year.

A little over 200 truck loads per week are being shipped out of the Vidalia district

Vidalia onions – grossing about $3000 to New York City.

BC Blueberry Shipments

British Columbia’s blueberry shipments should peak through August and could last into early September.  In a more normal year, most British Columbia “blues” would be shipped to markets in the Western U.S.  However, with East Coast blueberry volume slashed this year due to weather factors, more BC blueberries will be trucked into the Eastern Time Zone.  However, BC shipments could be off 30 to 50 percent this season due to poor pollination.  As the BC season closes around Labor Day, imports of blueberries from Peru and Argentina will start arriving at U.S. ports.




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Shipping Updates: California Strawberries and Garlic; Plus Indiana Spuds and Citrus Imports

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DSCN9841Here’s some shipping updates including California strawberries, plus some not so obvious ones such as garlic, Indiana potatoes and imported citrus from Chile.

This has been one of the best season’s for California strawberry shipments as volume, quality and more predictable loadings have been much better than the past three or four years.  Good volume  should continue from Watsonville heading toward autumn. Last week about 1,000 truck loads were shipped.  That should mean good loading opportunities into September, before the transition to shipments out of Oxnard, CA, which will continue into December.

For example, Well-Pict of Watsonville, CA grows and ships strawberries and raspberries for the late-season on about 700 acres in Oxnard.  Naturipe Berry Growers of Salinas, CA has a fall crop in Santa Maria, CA., with best loading opportunities coming toward an end-of-August, or early September.

Salinas Valley strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $7400 to New York City.


Garlic Shipments

Most garlic shipments in the U.S. are coming out of California, where supplies are plentiful and quality is good.  For example, Christopher Ranch of Gilroy, CA had to cut garlic plantings by about 10 percent the past couple of years due to the drought, but have now rebounded with volume this season being a little above normal.  Loadings of garlic started last June and will continue until early September.

Meanwhile, Spice World Inc. of Orlando, FL and The Garlic Co. in Shafter, CA also have good volume out of California.

Indiana Potato Shipments

Red potato shipper Black Gold Farms of Grand Forks, ND starts harvesting spuds this week at its Winamac, IN farming operation and will be shipping through the month.  This is the fifth year of the Indiana program.

Chilean Navel Imports

Chile’s navel orange shipments through the week of July 10th were 29 percent over a year ago with 35,591 tons, compared to last season’s 27,600 tons.  However, the season started late, but will end two to three weeks earlier this year due to a smaller crop and weather issues.  That means imports to the U.S. lasting through October.

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