Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

Chilean Fruit Imports Up More than 50% from Last Season

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Chile has exported 708,741 tons of fresh fruit, showing an increase of 7.85 percent when compared to the same period last year, according to
the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile (ASOEX) in the current shipping season of 2021-2022 (September 1, 2021 – January 11, 2022).

The Far East is the main destination to date, with 301,181 tons received, but it represents a decrease of 4.75 percent compared to the previous season, as reported by Simfruit.

The Far East is the main destination to date, with 301,181 tons received, but it represents a decrease of 4.75 percent compared to the previous season, as reported by Simfruit.

The U.S. has received 177,642 tons, reflecting a significant increase of 54.6 percent.

Following the U.S. is Latin America with 114,936 tons (+10.45 percent), Europe with 106,849 tons (+21.35 percent), Canada with 6,354 tons (-19 percent), and the Middle East with 1,142 tons (+92 percent).

In terms of participation, the Middle East received 43 percent of all Chilean fruit exported to date, followed by the U.S. with 25 percent, Latin America with 16 percent, and Europe with 15 percent.

The main fruits exported to date are cherries (291,503 tons), avocados (97,188 tons), mandarins (87,869 tons), apples (97,188 tons), blueberries (55,371 tons), oranges (25,696 tons), and table grapes (17,373 tons).

However, increased rates for freight has led to lower margins for exporters and increased prices for consumers.

Honeybear Brands of Elgin, MN, a leading grower and marketer of premium apples, pears and cherries continues to grow its direct winter cherry program for retailers. The companies’ dual-hemisphere cherry program provides quality fruit available during winter, direct from Chile, and summer months, domestically from Washington and California.

Chilean Cherries are available late December through February and domestic cherries are available May through August.

Honeybear Brands has more than 25 years of experience growing and importing premium apples and pears in Chile through is growing partner Frusan. This partnership has created a seamless opportunity to provide a premier cherry supply to our retailers as Frusan continues to expand their cherry production.     

“Imported cherries require detailed attention to successfully get into the customers shopping basket, and we’re proud of the supply chain we have built ensuring our customers get the freshest, most flavorful fruit from Chile driving repeat sales,” says Don Roper, vice president sales and marketing, Honeybear Brands.

“Grower partnerships in the Southern Hemisphere allow us to provide some of the highest-quality fruit in the world. We are dedicated to take that privilege and help retailers avoid shrink, drive high sales and gain repeat customers,” continues Roper.

About Honeybear Brands

Honeybear is a leading grower and developer of premium apple varieties.  Family owned and operated for more than 45 years, the company is a leading vertically integrated, dual hemisphere grower, packer, and shipper. Honeybear offers supply of premium apples, pears and cherries on a year-round basis. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wescott Agri Products. For more information about Honeybear, visit www.honeybearbrands.com.

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Chile Expects Massive Avocado Supply Boost

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Chile is expected to ship 220,000 tons of avocados during the 2021-22 season, reflecting a whopping 57 percent increase over 140,000 tons during the 2020-21 year.

Chilean avocado exports are primarily to the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The 2020-21 season’s production was plagued by an early frost and drought conditions.

In 2020, the avocado plating area reached over 74,132 acres with 89 percent consisting of the Hass variety. Valparaiso is the main production region with 49,421 acres, representing 67 percent of the total planted area, followed by the Metropolitan and Coquimbo regions.

The strong domestic and international demand for avocados has raised prices the past two years. In the 2021-22 marketing year, domestic consumption will reach 100,000 tons representing almost 46 percent of production.

From January to May 2021, the average price for avocado increased significantly due to the seasonality of Chilean production and lower domestic supply as a result from reduced production in the 2020-21 marketing year.

Chilean avocado exports decreased by 58 percent in volume year-on-year totaling 16,400 tons and by 50 percent in value totaling $442.8 million.

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Fresh Del Monte is Shipping Melons to U.S. Ports for Nationwide Distribution

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Miami, FL – Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., one of the world’s leading vertically integrated producers, distributors and marketers of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, is currently harvesting a variety of melons including cantaloupe, honeydew, specialty Harper and Tara melons and watermelon just in time for prime melon season. Once harvested, the produce giant ships the melons using its six recently purchased energy-efficient container vessels, which will help streamline delivery amid the global supply chain issues.

“At Fresh Del Monte, we will not let global supply chain issues stand in the way of delivering the freshest produce on the planet and this is especially true from our North American ports,” said Ana Cristina Fonseca, Vice President – Product Management (North America), Fresh Del Monte. “With melon season underway and supply chain shortages intensifying, Fresh Del Monte believes the use of our six additional container vessels has been invaluable in offering transportation solutions during these unprecedented times. We want to ensure customers receive the freshest products despite global shipping backlogs. As many produce authorities and retailers struggle to secure shipping container vessels to reduce product shortages, Fresh Del Monte’s container vessels have offered a helping hand to not only Fresh Del Monte, but to their competitors seeking help amidst the crisis.”

Fresh Del Monte continues to invest significant resources in research and development to expand the melon category and continuously offer products that meet consumer’s evolving needs. Since melons are grown in temperate locations and have a relatively short growing cycle, the brand can provide North American customers with not only in-season melons supplies, but year-round.

Fresh Del Monte has purchased six energy-efficient container vessels, which have offered a solution amidst supply chain issues. Used to help transport melons amongst other produce, the container vessels depart from ports in Costa Rica, Ecuador and Guatemala to help secure consistent service to customers and provide delivery to retailers at four ports in Manatee, Gloucester, Galveston and Hueneme across the United States. Given the perishable nature of fresh fruits and vegetables, each container vessel is air-cooled to maintain the cargo at specified temperatures, traveling in reefer mode with multiple temperature variants from -25C to 40C.

Fresh Del Monte melon varieties are shipped to select retailers nationwide.

Fresh Del Monte has been a market leader in growing and shipping premium quality fresh produce for several decades and a recognized authority in the fruit industry.

ABOUT FRESH DEL MONTE

Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. is one of the world’s leading vertically integrated producers, marketers and distributors of high-quality fresh and fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, as well as a leading producer and distributor of prepared food in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Fresh Del Monte markets its products worldwide under the DEL MONTE® brand (under license from Del Monte Foods, Inc.), a symbol of product innovation, quality, freshness and reliability for over 135 years. The Company also markets its products under the MANN™ brand and other related trademarks. Fresh Del Monte Produce 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. Fresh Del Monte is the first global marketer of fruits and vegetables to commit to the “Science Based Targets” initiative. Fresh Del Monte Produce is traded on the NYSE under the symbol FDP.

 

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Red River Valley Potato Shipments are Down this Season

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Potato shipments from the Red River Valley of North Dakota and western Minnesota are down 15 to 20 percent this season, with loadings expected to continue until June.

The Northern Plains Potato Association of East Grand Forks, MN reports the major varieties for the fresh market are Red and Dark Red Norland, and for the frozen processing market the Russet Burbank and Umatilla are popular. The favored chipping varieties are Cascade and Dakota Pearl, while seed potatoes are very diversified.

The NPPA notes yellow potatoes have been increasing for a decade, without any signs of a slow down. While yellow acreage has increased an estimated 8 percent, red acreage is off 1-2 percent. However, red potatoes are still the dominant variety for the region.

The Red River Valley is one of the nation’s top-10 potato growing areas — and it is the largest producer of red potatoes in the United States and one of the top-five yellow potato production areas.

While some potato shed have rail sidings, arrivals of rails cars are often a week or more late in arriving.

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Giant Berry Farms Expecting Strong Winter Shipments from Florida, Mexico

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Strong winter strawberry shipments, led by its Florida and Mexico growing regions, is predicted by California Giant Berry Farms, headquartered in Watsonville, CA.

The company reports its 2021-2022 Florida strawberry season started strong, with the long term weather outlook appearing to be better than a year ago. Florida strawberry shipments got underway in time for Christmas and peak shipments are expected in mid-February – around Valentine’s Day.

The strong forecast comes at a critical time for California Giant, as strawberry volumes are tight, following heavy rains in October that ended much of the Watsonville/Salinas growing season. Concurrently, the Santa Maria fall crop finished, as colder temperatures and wet weather becomes more frequent.

In addition to the strong Florida crop forecast, California Giant’s strawberry production shipments from Central Mexico are expected to continually increase in the coming months, with the growing regions season in its early stages. The region, known for its traditionally strong winter harvest is on track to produce as expected.

Florida strawberries and vegetables – grossing $4000 and more to New York City.

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Washington Apple Shipments are Similar to a Year Ago

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In November the Washington organic apple crop was projected to exceed 15 million cartons, while the Washington state overall crop was projected at 118 million cartons.

Domestic truck shipments of Washington conventional apples through December 25 equaled 24.4 million cartons, compared with 25 million cartons the same time a year ago, according to the USDA.

Through December 25, season-to-date domestic truck volume of Washington organic apples totaled about 5.5 million cartons, almost exactly the same volume as the same time a year ago.

Organic apple supplies are tight and getting tighter in the 2021-22 marketing season.

The December 25 average organic apple price was $56.26 per carton at U.S. wholesale markets tracked by the USDA, 41% higher than the $39.83 per carton average for conventional apples the same day.
The USDA reported size 72 Washington organic gala apples were trading at $34 to $36 per carton on December 29, up slightly from a year ago.

The USDA reported the national average shipping point price for organic apples on Dec. 25 was $29.65 per carton, just 3% higher than the average shipping point price for conventional apples at $28.96 per carton.

The U.S. average retail promoted price for organic apples was $1.81 per pound in early December, up from $1.61 per pound in early December 2020. 

Sage Fruit Co. of Yakima, WA notes both conventional and organic apple volume is down this season. About 15% of the company’s total crop is in organics, but that number is growing yearly.

At Stemilt Growers of Wenatchee, WA, organics account for about 30% of its overall apple shipments.

Honeybear Marketing of Brewster, WA reports about 12% of the company’s shipments are with organic apples. Honeybear Marketing has more domestic organic trees coming into production in the 2021 season, boosting this year’s volume of organic apples. The company has supplies of organic galas, Honeycrisp, granny smith, fujis, Pink Lady and Cosmic Crisp.

Honeybear ships organic and conventional apples year-round because of its dual hemisphere program. During the winter and spring, it is loading its domestic supply, but in late summer, the company gradually shifts to its Southern Hemisphere apple program.

At CMI Orchards of Wenatchee, WA, organics account for about 15% to 20% of apple volume, and also as a dual hemisphere program for winter and spring.

Washington apples and pears – grossing $13,500 and more to New York City.

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Mexican Blueberry Shipments Projected to Have Less Volume Increase

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Mexican blueberry shipments are expected to slowdown following a five-year growth, which exceeded 50,000 tons in 2020. However, the 2.6 percent projected growth over last season represents a slowdown, the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture told Opportimes.

International sales reached $399 million in 2020 with 95.9 percent of the exported volume going to the U.S., but exports went to 34 other nations.

The U.S. is the world’s largest blueberry importer, with import purchases worth $1.4 billion in 2020.

Blueberry shipments went from 15,000 to 29,000 tons from 2015 to 2016, to 37,000 tons in 2017, 40,000 tons in 2018, 49,000 tons in 2019, and 50,293 in 2020. During the last decade, blueberry volume has averaged an annual growth rate of 25.1 percent.

In 2020, 11,614 acres were allocated to blueberry production. The state of Jalisco generated 31.5 percent of the national production value with 23,169 tons.

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California Mandarin Volume Estimated down Nearly 50% from Previous Season

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California mandarin shipments expected to be far less than the previous season, with the 2021-22 volumes expected to be off by 45 percent compared to a year ago.

California Citrus Mutal also predicts total Navel orange loadings for the 2021-22 season will be down 20% from the previous season’s final numbers.

According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s 2021-22 California Navel Orange Objective Measurement Report, released on Sept. 10, 2021, the initial forecast for the navel orange crop was 70.0 million cartons, down 14% from the previous year’s total utilized production. Additionally, an estimated 4% of last season’s crop was not utilized, meaning it was not picked or sold. 

Now several weeks into 2021-22 season, the CCM anticipates, based on current picking estimates, will be 20% below the prior season’s total utilized production and approximately 24% below the total crop size.

The drop in production is attributed to the previous season’s heavy crop and extended season. Due to the larger sized crop and other market conditions, fruit remained on the tree far longer than is typical, which negatively affected the current year’s crop size. 

The CCM also estimates 2021-22 California mandarin shipments will be down 45% from the previous season’s exceptionally large crop.

The current navel and mandarin crops are forecast to go through May and June, respectively.

The 2021-22 season is shaping up to be far different than the previous season. Shippers extended last year’s season well into August.

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Florida Looking at Strong Citrus Shipments with High-Quality Crop

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Florida citrus growers see good volume shipments this season, despite a USDA forecast for a smaller production of all oranges and grapefruits.

Florida Classic Growers of Dundee, FL report excellent fruit color, especially Florida navels. 

Noble Worldwide of Winter Haven, FL started harvesting the second week of September and expects to harvest through May and ship through June or July.

DLF International of Fort Pierce, FL notes they began picking at the end of September and will run through the first part of July using a cold storage program at the end of the season.

DLF has similar volume to last season, but overall fruit quality has improved.

Seald Sweet of Vero Beach, FL, has volume matching last year because of the good growing conditions and weather. Florida citrus movement is expected to be strong in part because Texas grapefruit volume is limited due to a freeze last February.

Continued efforts to manage citrus greening is another factor leading to increased quality crop, Parris said.

DFL reports while East Coast demand is about the same as last year, and there has been an increase in business in the Midwest.  DFL also is also expanding its orange and grapefruit businesses.

According to the USDA, overall U.S. citrus production for the fresh market is estimated at 3.45 million tons in 2020-21, down 6% from the previous season, with smaller fresh-market crops of oranges (down 11%), grapefruit (down 15%) and lemons (down 6%).

The USDA’s October forecast for Florida’s production of all oranges was down 11% from last season with grapefruit production down 7% and all tangerine and tangelo production up 1%.

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West Mexico Winter Produce Shipments Gearing up for Crossings through Nogales

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January typically is when produce shipments from West Mexico build in volume and continue for the next three to four months. A majority of it crosses the border at Nogales, AZ.

Calavo Growers Inc. of Nogales expects to have the same acreage in Mexico this winter, but has shifted emphasis with commodities grown. It is increasing roma tomato volume, while and decreasing round tomatoes.

There will be a 15% increase on romas and a 15% decrease on round tomatoes.

The roma harvest got underway the third week of December, and round tomatoes will start in limited volume this week.

Significant volume of romas should be available by mid-January.

Volume of round tomatoes likely will be lighter than normal until mid-February.

Calavo also will have a winter grape tomato shipments out of Culiacan for the first time. The harvest starts in early January and loadings continue until April.

Crown Jewels Produce of launched its green bean program the first week of November and hopes to make the program year-round by adding product out of Baja California and Texas. The company also now ships cucumbers year-round, sourcing from Nogales, Baja California and Texas.

Crown Jewels was receiving Mexican green, yellow and gray squash, bell peppers and eggplant in November received its first colored hothouse bell peppers the first half of December.

Overall, the firm’s volume should be 20% to 30% higher than last year.

Divine Flavor of Nogales has transitioned its organic program from Baja California to West Mexico. The company is shipping cucumbers, grape tomatoes, watermelons and table grapes.

Earth Blend LLC of Nogales is shipping European cucumbers, Persian cucumbers, eggplant, squash, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. The company has also added organic Italian squash and yellow squash.

Fresh Farms of Rio Rico, AZ already is looking forward to its spring table grape season out of Mexico, with volume growing each season. Mexican grape shipments usually get underway as the last of the Chilean import grapes finish.

Table grapes are described as backbone of its company. The grapes start in Jalisco in late March with several new varieties and an abundance of fresh grapes including Cotton Candy. Fresh Farms also will offer some organic squash.

MAS Melons & Grapes LLC of Rio Rico has honeydew melons, seedless watermelons, mini watermelons, cantaloupes and orange candy melons this season. The program will continued until late December out of northern Mexico and then switched to fields in the south for the winter and spring months.

The company had butternut, kabocha, spaghetti and zucchini squash until mid-December.

Grower Alliance LLC of Nogales, Ariz.-based has launched a logistics company and added a produce brokerage.

The move was made to get loads out the same day the produce was picked, resulting in a fresher product.

The new entity, which came about as a result of a merger with Lugo’s Trucking, formerly of Tucson, AZ., will have access to eight trucks, three of which will be dedicated exclusively to Grower Alliance. Eventually the fleet will expand.

For now, the new company will cover primarily a route from Nogales to the greater Los Angeles area, but eventually the service area will expand nationwide and into Canada.

Grower Alliance also has launched a produce brokerage called Grow-All Procurement. The brokerage will be able to offer items like citrus that Grower Alliance does not handle.

IPR Fresh of Rio Rico now has expanded its slicer cucumber program, which was offer intermittently in the past. Slicers began shipping in mid-November and will continue through April.

IPR Fresh also has increased volume of sweet corn through the end of March, and will continue to have its year-round supply of organic and conventional colored bell peppers as well as a green bell peppers.

IPR Fresh also will have more watermelon this winter, which will run through April, and has organic and conventional yellow and zucchini squash.

Produce House of Nogales expected to have similar volume this season out of Mexico.

New items include mini watermelons, seedless watermelons and honeydews.

The company also is entering into the southern state of Sinaloa to source tomatoes, roma tomatoes and bell peppers this season.

Tricar Sales Inc. of Rio Rico will have its same West Mexico program as last year, which will include cucumbers, European cucumbers, roma tomatoes, round tomatoes, eggplant and green, red, yellow and orange bell peppers.

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