Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

South Texas Winter Produce Shipments Looking Favorable

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Lower Rio Grande Valley shipments are looking good for the coming months.


The International Produce Association of Mission, TX reports ideal growing conditions.

Val Verde Vegetable of McAllen, TX reports truck supplies are expected to be adequate for produce shipments. It was only two years South Texas shippers were scrambling for trucks. The company cited one factor then was when electronic logbooks were just being implemented.


Citrus Shipments

Texas citrus shipments are looking good for the 2019-20 season. The USDA predicts the non-Valencia orange shipments at 2.05 million boxes, down 2.2 million boxes from a year ago. However, this is up the 1.53 million boxes two years ago. Texas Valencia orange volume is forecast at 650,000 boxes, an increase from 290,000 boes last year and 350,000 cartons two years ago.

Texas grapefruit shipments is predicted to be 5.7 million boxes, down from 6.1 million boxes a year ago but up from 4.8 million boxes two years ago.

The USDA said that domestic grapefruit shipments in calendar year 2018 totaled 191.5 million pounds, down from 203.6 million pounds in 2017 and also off from 205.8 million pounds.

However, grapefruit exports from Texas totaled 16.5 million pounds, up from 5.9 million pounds in 2017 and 1.3 million pounds in 2016.

2018 shipments of Texas oranges totaled 106.7 million pounds, up from 99.1 million pounds in 2017 and higher than 103.6 million pounds in 2016.

Vegetable Shipments

During November, volume was building kale, cilantro and cabbage with excellent quality reported.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that Texas cabbage shipments in 2018 totaled 85.7 million pounds, down from 120.5 million pounds in 2017 and off from 128.7 million pounds 2016. Shipments peaked December to March.

Texas shipments of greens totaled 13.1 million pounds in 2018, down from 14.1 million pounds in 2017.

Texas onion growers finished planting in November. South Texas onions are available March into July.

In 2018, shipments of Texas onions totaled 283.7 million pounds, compared with 199.2 million pounds in 2017 and 209.2 million pounds in 2016.

Acreage of onions in south Texas has not yet been estimated, but acreage in the past couple of years has ranged from 6,500 to 7,500 acres.

The “great grandfather” of onion varieties is the 1015, but now there are many more varieties, including the 1105, the 1110 and others. 

“I don’t think the trucking situation is going to be a factor like it was two years ago when e-log (requirements) started up. There is plenty of equipment around.”

Citrus

Prospects are looking good for Texas citrus in the 2019-20 season.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast the non-valencia orange output at 2.05 million boxes, down from 2.2 million boxes last year but up from 1.53 million boxes two years ago. Valencia orange output in Texas is forecast by the USDA at 650,000 boxes, up from 290,000 boxes last year and 350,000 cartons two years ago.

Texas grapefruit production is forecast at 5.7 million boxes, down from 6.1 million boxes a year ago but up from 4.8 million boxes two years ago.

“The Texas citrus crop had a great bloom and a good set,” Galeazzi said. “We’re expecting to see some very good sizes of grapefruit and oranges.”

The USDA said that domestic grapefruit shipments in calendar year 2018 totaled 191.5 million pounds, down from 203.6 million pounds in 2017 and also off from 205.8 million pounds.

However, grapefruit exports from Texas totaled 16.5 million pounds, up from 5.9 million pounds in 2017 and 1.3 million pounds in 2016.

2018 shipments of Texas oranges totaled 106.7 million pounds, up from 99.1 million pounds in 2017 and higher than 103.6 million pounds in 2016.

Looking ahead

Kale, parley, cilantro and cabbage were increasing in November, and quality in the field has been stellar, Galeazzi said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that Texas cabbage shipments in 2018 totaled 85.7 million pounds, down from 120.5 million pounds in 2017 and off from 128.7 million pounds 2016. Shipments peaked December to March.

Texas shipments of greens totaled 13.1 million pounds in 2018, down from 14.1 million pounds in 2017.

Texas onion growers will finish up planting in November. South Texas onions are available March into July.

In 2018, shipments of Texas onions totaled 283.7 million pounds, compared with 199.2 million pounds in 2017 and 209.2 million pounds in 2016.

Acreage of onions in south Texas has not yet been estimated, but acreage in the past couple of years has ranged from 6,500 to 7,500 acres.

The “great grandfather” of onion varieties is the 1015, but now there are many more varieties, including the 1105, the 1110 and others. 

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Lone Star Citrus Announces Start of Texas Red Grapefruit Season

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By Lone Star Citrus

Winter Sweetz, a Texas based grapefruit brand owned by Lone Star Citrus, announces the start of its twelfth season supplying quality, sweet grapefruit throughout the U.S. Now in full production, Texas Red Grapefruit shipments will be available through April 2020.

Winter Sweetz grapefruit is grown in the temperate and sunny climate of the Rio Grande Valley. This summer, the region experienced a lighter bloom, which allowed the fruit to increase, on average, one size compared to the previous season.

“We are thrilled with this season’s harvest and look forward to sharing our sweet and juicy Texas-grown Red Grapefruit with shoppers this winter,” said April Flowers, director of marketing at Winter Sweetz. “The bright color and juicy texture is the perfect pick-me-up during the winter months and we’re excited for our winter promotion to showcase the many ways consumers are able to use this versatile fruit.”

Winter Sweetz grapefruit began shipping mid-October and is currently in full production offering Texas Red Grapefruit.

About Winter Sweetz

Winter Sweetz is based in Mission, Texas and is a subdivision of Lone Star Citrus Growers.

About Lone Star Citrus Growers

Lone Star Citrus Growers is a company, formed in 2007. Born of a shared vision to provide the citrus-buying customer an alternative source of Texas citrus, three industry veterans combined their experience, strengths and resources to launch a dream. The foundation of this dream was built upon gathering a core team of employees that have been with us since the day we opened the doors in 2007.

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15% More Apples Remain in U.S. Storages this Season; Plus Washington Update

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There are 15 percent more fresh apples remaining to be shipped from U.S. storages than a year. This is according to the first storage report of the year from the U.S. Apple Association.

Apples in storage as of November 1st totaled 132.1 million cartons, up 15 percent from a year ago.

Meanwhile, apple for processing stood at 47.1 million cartons, up 23 percent greater than last season.  Total apples in storage totaled 179.2 million bushels, 17 percent more than last November’s total of 153.4 million cartons and 5 percent more than the 5-year average for that date.

The latest estimate for the Washington apples is 138.2 million fresh packed boxes, up slightly from the August forecast.

At 138.2 million boxes, the November estimate is up less than 1 pecent from the August forecast and 18 percent higher than  the 116.7 million carton crop of 2018.

The top 6 Washington fresh apple varieties this year, compared with a year ago, are:

  • Gala: 23.5 percent , down from 23.6 percent a year ago:
  • Red delicious: 19.7 percent, down from 24.2 percent last year;
  • Fuji: 13.1 percent, compared with 13percent last year;
  • Granny smith: 12.8 percent, up from 11.6 percent last year;
  • Honeycrisp: 12.5 percent, up from 10.4 percent a year ago; and
  • Golden delicious: 5.5 percent, up from 3.9 percent last year.

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Florida Fresh Produce Shipments Looking Favorable for 2020

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Florida fresh produce shipments will include over 300 different items and total in excess of 100,000 truckloads by June when summer heat tends to end any significant volume. Heaviest volume will come during April and May.

Last August there were 336 40,000-pound truckloads shipped, which was the highest in the past four years.

Between November and early June Florida typically ships the bulk of U.S. domestic fresh commodities. Most other U.S. states are dormant or have either just ended production or just started.

The USDA reports the top five produce items shipped from Florida in 2018 include tomatoes at 791.9 million pounds, sweet corn at 497 million pounds, strawberries at 229.6 million pounds, bell peppers at 206.5 million pounds and cabbage at 193.4 million pounds.

More than 791.9 million pounds of tomatoes were shipped out of Florida in 2018, increasing from 780.2 million in 2017.

Sweet corn shipments also grew from 479.3 million pounds in 2017 to 497 million pounds.


Orange shipments experienced growth, reaching 186.1 million pounds in 2018, an increase from 153.1 million pounds in 2017. Growth in orange shipments, however, did not exceed shipment numbers from 2015 or 2016. 

Here are 2018 fresh produce shipments, with percent comparisons to 2017:

  • Avocados: 25.2 million pounds, -29%;
  • Beans: 126.7 million pounds, -17%;
  • Blueberries: 19.7 million pounds, 3.1%;
  • Cabbage: 193.4 million pounds, -14%;
  • Celery: 62.9 million pounds, -16%;
  • Sweet corn: 497 million pounds, 3.6%;
  • Cucumbers: 99.9 million pounds, -15%;
  • Grapefruit: 65.3 million pounds, -23%;
  • Oranges: 186.1 million pounds: 22%;
  • Bell peppers: 206.5 million, -6%;
  • Strawberries: 229.6 million pounds, -9%; and
  • Tomatoes: 791.9 million pounds, 1%.

While Florida fresh organic shipments are increasing, it still is miniscule. Organic accounts for less than 1 percent of total Florida fresh produce volume. By 2022 some observers believe it may account for 1,000 truck loads a year.




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California Desert Lettuce Shipments are Looking Strong

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California winter desert lettuce shipments are looking good this season due to good growing conditions, although the nearby Yuma lettuce season may be a little behind schedule because of rain.

Coastline Family Farms of Salinas, CA transitioned its lettuce shipments from the Salinas Valley to Yuma, AZ the second week of November and to Brawley, CA this week, where it has a branch operation.

The company reports the Yuma area was hit by a significant storm system that included heavy rain and hail, which causes significant damage to some early planted lettuce fields.

While lettuce shipments were lighter than normal for Thanksgiving, volume is now improving.

Coastline began around Thanksgiving from Brawley with Imperial Valley vegetable shipments including about two dozen items such as romaine, romaine hearts, cauliflower, green leaf and red leaf lettuce. These loadings should continue until early April

While romaine grown in Salinas has been cited for food borne illness, it thus far has not affected growing areas in the California and Arizona deserts. One possible point of confusion from a consumer perspective may be, for example, was observed recently in a Wal-Mart supermarket. A well known shipper stated on the romaine in the display case was distributed by the company “from Salinas, CA.” However, a Wal-Mart sign stated no lettuce was Salinas was being distributed by the store. That may be factually correct, but how many consumers hestitate to by the romaine because they do not know where it was grown.

Who really cares where the company who distributed it is from. It is more important to known where the produce was grown. One can debate\ the costs of labeling, but that is a whole different issue.

Boskovich Fresh Food Group of Oxnard, CA grows and ships most of it vegetables from Ventura County, although it complements its program of celery, cabbages, romaine, red- and green-leaf lettuce and other items with a limited amount of lettuce and some red and green leaf from Yuma.

Meanwhile, Peter Rabbit Farms of , Coachella, CA launched its red and green leaf season the second week of November, followed by romain loadings a week later. The company was experiencing truck load volume by Thanksgiving, with the season continuing through March.

Ocean Mist Farms of Castroville, CA grows and ships winter vegetables from the Coachella Valley including artichokes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cardone, cauliflower, celery, fennel/sweet anise, a full line of leafy greens, green cabbage, iceberg lettuce, rapini/broccoli rabe and spinach.

Shipments of iceberg and leaf items started the third week of November, while broccoli and cauliflower got underway a few days before Thanksgiving. The company has increased its Brussels sprouts and iceberg lettuce volume this year.

Baloian Farms of Fresno CA started shipping from the Coachella Valley the first half of November with items ranging from romaine, to romaine hearts, red leaf, green leaf, jumbo butter leaf and cauliflower following its seasonal transition from the Fresno. The company expects similar volume again this season with romaine and green leaf , while more volume will be coming from other vegetables such as romaine hearts, green onions, cauliflower and celery.

Such a storm can damage or even destroy planted fields, he said.












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WP Produce Tropical Avocados Set for Growth, Strong 2020 Season

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By WP Produce
Miami, FL — WP Produce, a family-owned, grower-packer-shipper of Desbry® tropical produce has announced a strong start to their high season for tropical avocados from the Dominican Republic. Available year-round, the fruit’s high season runs from mid-October through mid-May, with additional supply from Florida available from June through December. The company anticipates increased volumes overall, with exceptionally promotable quantities available from November through January.

“This growth is exciting and we expect it to continue. Retailers and foodservice providers have been seeing increased popularity for tropical avocados over the past few years,” said Chris Gonzalez, VP of Sales for WP Produce.

A new avocado cleaning and sorting machinery have been added in WP Produce’s Dominican Republic facilities, allowing for increased volume and capacity, while supporting the company’s mission to provide sustainable job opportunities for the region. As part of these efforts, WP Produce has also created a worker welfare program for their Dominican employees.

WP Produce offers a year-round supply of tropical avocados grown in four regions of the island plus Florida.

About WP Produce:
Founded in 1984, WP Produce is a family-owned, multi-regional grower, packer and shipper of tropical, exotic produce. WP Produce has been a pioneer in the tropical avocado market since 1992 and are now the largest importer and distributor of Dominican tropical avocados worldwide. With farms and partnerships with growers in Florida and the Dominican Republic, WP Produce offers a wide variety of tropical produce and root vegetables under the Desbry® brand.


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Mission Produce is Diversifying Avocado Sources to Avoid Supply Disruptions

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Mission Produce of Oxnard, CA is diversifying where it sources avocados to ensure more consistent avocado supplies, spurred in big part by a Mexican labor strike earlier this year.

While the company wants to have a year-round supply, but also is taking steps to have multiple sources for avocados to ensure more consistent of supply.

This was a big issue in the avocado category for imported product by the U.S. coming from Mexico. Labor strikes last season caused significant disruptions. To help avoid such issues in the future, Mission has been increasing its plantings in other countries.

The company has planted 1,500 hectares (about 3,700 acres) in Colombia and has also increased its acreage in Peru from 2,600 hectares to more than 3,000 hectares (about 7,400 acres).

Mexico easily remains the dominant avocado supplier for the U.S., having exported nearly 2 billion pounds of the fruit to the U.S. in 2018, according to the USDA. Peru, the most significant source of avocados aside from Mexico, exported roughly 180 million pounds of fruit to the U.S. last year.

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South American Imports are Earlier with Concerns over California Quality

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California table grape shipments for the remainder of the season will definitely be lighter and some observers are expressing concerns about late season quality. The California season in winding down, while South America is ramping up.

The California Table Grape Commission claims there should be good volume through early January.

While fewer grapes remain in storage compared to a year ago, plenty of fruit remains to be shipped. Typically around 46 percent of California grapes are shipped after October 1st.

The USDA reports through early November truck shipments of central California grapes totaled 55.2 million 19-pound cartons, up slightly from 54.6 million cartons the same time a year ago.

The government report indicates 13.2 million cartons of grapes remained in cold storage through October, down 28 percent from 18.1 million cartons in storage at the same time a year ago, but similar to 13.56 million two years ago. 

While some later varieties of grapes were still being picked, the harvest is expected to be over in early December.

At 115.6 million 19-pound cartons, the 2018 California grape crop was the second largest on record. The 2019 grape crop, estimated at 109 million cartons, is in line with the four years before the 2018 crop.

The commission says about 2 million cartons of California grapes are expected to be shipped in January.

Very light volumes of imported Peruvian grapes were reported in the U.S. in early November and those arrivals will increase toward the year’s end.

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Capespan North America of Gloucester N.J. reports U.S. imports of South American grapes is on an earlier track this season due to a small crop in California. The company already is receiving Peruvian grapes at American ports.

Peruvian white seedless grapes are particularly in big demand because of concerns over California white seedless quality. Peruvian red seedless grapes will be arriving within days, as Capesapan feels California red will be finished by mid-December.

Pandol Bros. of Delano, CA has finished its California grape harvest and recalls last season when a lot of fruit was picked. However, much of it then was either not sold in the normal time and beyond or was outright dumped.

While Pando is predicting a 15 percent increase in total Peruvian grape exports this season, the company is less certain about Chilean grape volume. Some forecasts are above last season’s 83 million cartons, while others are below it.

Chile is also focusing increasingly on the mid- to late-section of the import season, with Peru focusing the earlier stages.

Vanguard Direct of Bakersfield, CA also was expecting an earlier than normal end to the California season.

Vanguard Direct will begin its Peruvian import season with arrivals the last week of December or early January.

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New York, Pennsylvania Apple Shipments are Looking Good

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New York and Pennsylvania are among the top 5 apple shipping states in the country. New York ranks second and Pennsylvania is number 4. However, Washington state easily leads the nation with nearly 65 percent of the country’s apple shipments. Michigan is the number 3 apple shipping in the U.S.

New York Apple Sales Inc. of Glenmont distributes apples from each of the state’s major growing regions and points out what a good shipping season lies ahead. The firm points out apple volume will be up from western New York, and down some in the Eastern part of the state.

Rice Fruit Co. of Gardners, PA. is one of the largest fruit shippers on the East Coast. The company notes a year ago weather was disastrous for the crop, but this year is experiencing a complete turn around.

The most popular varieties are Gala, Honeycrisp, SweeTango, Snapdragon, Fuji and newcomer Koru, which is a Fuji-Braeburn cross from New Zealand.

The Rice family grows 900 acres of apples, plus the firm packs apples for 35 other growers.

Lake Ontario Fruit Inc., a packing house in Albion, N.Y., expresses optimism for this season describing it as one of the cleanest, high quality crops in a long time.


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Peru Completes Avocado Season with Big Gains in U.S.

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Peruvian avocado exports to the U.S. have completed another year with impressive gains in volume to the U.S.

Avocados from Peru, a promotion group, reports 183 million pounds of Peruvian avocados arrived in the U.S. from June to September, second in import volume to Mexico.

The USDA reports weekly shipments through October 19th reveal season-to-date imports of Peruvian avocados totaled 157 million pounds, up 12 percent from 140.2 million pounds a year go.

USDA monthly trade statistics show even bigger gains. The agency reports the U.S. imported more than 83,000 metric tons from Peru from January through August, 24 percent above last year’s level. By value, the U.S. imported about $221 million worth of Peruvian avocados in the first eight months of 2019, up 53 percent from 2018.

Peru accounted for 11.4 percent of U.S. avocado import volume and 11.3 percent of U.S. import value for the January through August, up from 5.3 percent of volume and 5 percent of value for the same period in 2015.
Avocados from Peru said that from June to September, the country is the largest exporter to Europe and the second largest supplier of imported avocados to the U.S.

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