Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

2018 Northwest Cherry Shipments are Set for Early June

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DSCN0627by Northwest Cherry Growers

Northwest cherry shipments are on pace for a strong start in June.

About 22.6 million (20-pound equivalent) boxes are forecast to be shipped this season.  The 2018 crop on the trees gives every indication of a fantastic season to come for growers, truckers and retailers alike.

In 2015 and 2016, we shipped for at least a week in the month of May.  Last season (2017) we didn’t begin shipping until the eighth of June.  Based on individual grower records of bloom timing in the Tri-Cities district, one of our earliest producing areas, they expect some early fruit during the first week of June with Chelan volume ramping up during the second week.  There is weather and time yet to happen between now and the start of harvest, but if all of these patterns continue we will still expect to see significant volumes in June, especially the June 27th break prior to the Fourth of July holiday.

Every tree is different, but there are several trends noted across varieties and growing areas.  In general, bloom this season was well spread throughout the trees.  “Snowball” bloom, or heavy clusters of flowers, were less prevalent.  The flower count per bud has also been closer to normal, 2-to-3 flowers, as compared to last year’s 4-to-6 flowers.  Fewer flowers per bud typically translates into more energy distributed into fewer cherries per tree.

After bloom finishes, the next stage of the estimate waiting game begins….from Rainiers in the Orondo area to Chelans in Pasco.  However, it takes several weeks after bloom finishes before growers can determine what will “stick” on the trees…in other words, which flowers were pollinated and will turn into cherries.  Most commercial varieties will drop what they’re going to by the pit hardening stage, typically two to three weeks after bloom, but some cherries like the Chelan can “drop” all the way up to harvest.

Washington is shipping nearly 3200 truck load equivalents of apples weekly – grossing about $7000 to New York City.


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Imported Mexican Guava Shipments Have been Showing Growth

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IA27mported Mexican guava volume has been trending higher for Spring Valley Fruits LLC of Pharr, Tx, the largest U.S. importer of the tropical fruit.  The company imports about 60 to 65 percent of all the Mexican fresh guava coming to the U.S., said Alberto Diaz Lopez, principal with the company.

The company’s sales have grown 70 percent over the past two years.  Imports of Mexican guava is grown the round, typically being harvested green and breaking to a yellow color. Spring Valley not only has its own orchards and packing shed in Aguascalientes, but also markets guava for other growers in Michoacán, Zacatecas, and the state of Mexico.

Fresh guava imports from Mexico were approved in 2008.

The company has been growing guavas for 50 years, and before fresh guavas were authorized for entry into the U.S., the company exported frozen and dehydrated guavas.

USDA statistics show Mexico’s shipments of fresh guava totaling over 8,926 metric tons in 2017, up 18 percent from 2016 and 52 percent higher than 2015.  Mexico accounted for 93 percent of U.S. fresh guava imports in 2017, with light volume coming from Thailand and India.

Shipped in 16-pound cartons, U.S. imports of Mexican fresh guava totaled about 1.22 million cartons in 2017.

Many varieties of guava are grown in countries all over the world, and the Mexican guava has different characteristics than varieties grown in Asia.

Spring Valley Fruits first entered the U.S. market selling only bulk in 13-pound cartons, but since then clamshells have become more popular and now account for about 40 percent of business.

Sold at near $1.20 per pound at shipping point, the company also ships guava in 16 1-pound cartons, with a major customer being Wal-Mart.

Guava is high in nutrition and the potential for growth is seen to be very good.  It could very well become more popular perhaps following the track of other tropical fruit commodities that were once obscure but are now familiar to many.

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Michigan Asparagus Shipments Look Promising Despite Late Start

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DSCN0640by Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board

Dewitt, MI — Although limited in acreage, growers in the Southern region of Michigan asparagus shipments started the week of May 7th. However, most of the state’s growers located West Central Michigan, in the heart of the asparagus growing area, didn’t get underway until the week of May 14th.  Shipments will continue until early July.

This year, due to unseasonably cool spring temperatures and late season snowfall, growers across the state are experiencing one of the latest asparagus season starts in memory.

John Bakker, Executive Director of the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board reassures, “We may have a delayed start but most grower shippers are on schedule to harvest and deliver similar volume to last season.” Bakker commented, “The biggest difference will be that the build up of volume will not happen slowly, over a couple weeks, but come on quickly between the week of May 14th until it reaches promotable volumes beginning the week of May 21st and continuing throughout the season.”

With quality and volume expected to be high this year, the 120 family farmers that produce the majority of Michigan’s asparagus are anticipating a great season.

Leveraging online influencers to reach consumers where they are has had proven success, and the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board is promoting online engagement by offering giveaways during the season. Consumers can enter to win weekly nationwide flash giveaways for $50, blogger event giveaways for $100, or the board’s season-long giveaway of over $2000 in cash prizes including a $1000 grand prize. Each giveaway encourages consumers to connect and engage with the board’s ever-growing online community through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

 About the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board

The Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board (MAAB) promotes the production and consumption of Michigan Asparagus nationwide. The organization is dedicated to sharing the virtues of asparagus, while also assisting with agricultural research and the development of asparagus farming. The MAAB is funded by Michigan Asparagus growers.

Michigan is shipping in light volume potatoes, as well as apples – grossing about $1100 to Chicago.

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Potandon is Now Shipping Arizona Red and Yellow Potatoes

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DSCN0616by Potandon Produce L.L.C.

Idaho Falls, ID  – Potandon Produce L.L.C., the exclusive marketing agent for Pinto Creek Co., LLC in Eloy, Arizona, began potato shipments May 10th.

Early season growing conditions did delay this year’s crop, but did not impact quality.  Red potatoes became available for shipping on the 10th, with yellows available May 14th.  Potandon will also distribute Arizona potatoes from their Idaho Falls, Idaho cross-dock facility starting approximately May 18th.

Dick Thomas, Senior VP of Sales reported that overall acreage has remained fairly consistent with the last two years, with a slight increase in mini potato acres to meet additional demand.

Pinto Creek is a PRIMUS certified facility with a full-time Quality Assurance person on-site daily.  The packing facility has seen steady improvement over the past decade with the addition of a new storage facility and modernized grading and sizing equipment.  The Pinto Creek team commitment to excellence has elevated their status to one of the premier red and yellow potato packing sheds in the nation.

About Potandon Produce L.L.C.

Headquartered in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Potandon Produce is the largest marketer of fresh potatoes and one of the largest marketers of fresh onions in North America.  Potandon holds the exclusive licensing rights to the Green Giant™ brand for fresh potatoes and onions in North America, and is able to provide year-round supply to any size retail, foodservice, or wholesale customer.  Potandon is also an industry leader in food safety and in bringing innovative products to the market. Visit to learn more about Potandon, and go to Potandon’s consumer website,, to learn more about the company’s distinctive potato varieties. To learn more about the Green Giant™ Fresh program visit

Green Giant, the Green Giant character, Sprout, and associated words and designs are trademarks of B&G Foods North America, Inc.-used under license. ©2016 B&G Foods North America, Inc.


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KORU Apples Arriving at U.S. Ports for Distribution

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A26by New York Apple Sales

With New Zealand KORU® Apple harvest in full swing, KORU® Apple shipments began arriving at USA ports in mid April 13 and are now being distributed mostly by truck to markets across the nation.

The first commercial exports were shipped to the USA in 2013, making this the sixth year for KORU® Apples in the USA market.

Export volumes have been increasing annually, along with production, with this year’s New Zealand crop estimated to reach 180,000 Z-pack equivalents, or about 7.2 million pounds of KORU® Apples.

Andy McGrath, Variety Manager, says, “Being a new apple variety, many of the orchards have not yet reached maturity, so you can expect the volume of KORU® Apples to increase significantly over the next several years as these orchards come into full production. Also, USA plantings will produce good volumes from 2020, making KORU® an all-year-round apple.”

It’s a natural cross between Braeburn and Fuji, and is incredibly crisp, sweet and naturally delicious.

KORU® Apples have a unique orange/red coloring over a yellow background.

With a two-hemisphere production, KORU® growers provide you with the freshest apple possible. Coast to Coast Growers Coop in the USA joined the KORU® team in 2013 with growing regions in Washington State and New York State. New Zealand grown KORU® Apples are picked in March and sold in USA markets from May to September, followed by USA grown KORU® Apples picked in October and sold in USA markets from October to April. Andy McGrath assures consumers that, “Although KORU® Apples store extremely well, the two-hemisphere production means you won’t find a KORU® Apple in the markets over six months from its picking date.”

KORU® apples from New Zealand are sold exclusively in the US by three premier sales organizations. Chelan Fresh-Chelan, WA, Oneonta Star Ranch-Wenatchee, WA, and New York Apple Sales-Glenmont, NY.

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Shipping Outlook for Kern County Produce, Almonds and Texas Potatoes

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DSCN0612California’s Kern County citrus shipments are wrapping up, while new crops of vegetables will be starting soon.  Meanwhile, California almonds look promising for the upcoming season. Finally, Black Gold Farms once again is shipping Texas potatoes.

For example, Grimmway Farms of Bakers will kick off its new carrot season with loadings of both conventional and organic carrots starting this week.  The firms bi-color corn got underway a week or so ago, plus it’s organic potatoes started shipping in late April.

Kern Ridge Growers of Arvin now has carrot shipments, with bell peppers set to start by early June.  Dan Andrews Farms of Bakersfield will get underway with watermelons in June, as well as cantaloupe and honeydew in July.

Sun World International is currently shipping grapes out of the Coachella Valley to be followed by Arvin grapes in early July.

Kern County carrots and vegetables – grossing about $6100 to Atlanta.

California Almond Shipments

California’s 2017 almond acreage is estimated at 1.33 million acres, up 7  percent from the 2016 acreage, which had  1.24 million acres.  The almond harvest typically begins in August.

Of the total acreage, 1 million acres were bearing and 330,000 acres were non-bearing, with preliminary bearing acreage for 2018 estimated at 1.07 million acres.  California has nearly 6,000  almond growers.  Five California counties have 73 percent of the total bearing acreage: Kern, Fresno, Stanislaus, Merced and Madera.

The leading almond variety continues to be nonpareil, followed by monterey, butte, carmel and padre.

Texas Potato Shipments

Black Gold Farms, based in Grand Forks, ND is now shipping red potatoes from its operation in Pearsall, Tx.  The growing and shipping operation, located Southwest of San Antonio, has been growing red potatoes in Pearsall since 2011, though its potato growing operation there started in 1992 with chipping potatoes,

Black Gold Farms is shipping from its Pearsall facility as well as from its Arbyrd, Mo., facility, with the Texas crop expected to ship through early June, when the Missouri crop will be ready.

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California is Experiencing Strong Strawberry Shipments; South African Citrus to Arrive Soon

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DSCN0607The past few weeks have seen California strawberry shipments ramping up for Mother’s Day and good volume will continue beyond…Meanwhile the first shipment of South African citrus will be arriving in the U.S. within a couple of weeks.

For example, California Giant Berry Farms and Well-Pict Inc., both based in Watsonville, have seen volume recently doubling on a weekly basis.

While most of the California strawberry shipment for Mother’s Day is coming out of the Santa Maria district, Salinas volume also is building.

The California Strawberry Commission reports the Salinas/Watsonville district has 13,233 acres of strawberries this season, which will account for 39 percent of the state’s strawberry acreage.

Last year, the district had 13,570 acres and accounted for 37 percent of the state’s strawberry acreage.  The area shipped more than 102 million trays of strawberries in 2017, up from 100,820,365 trays in 2016.

Most shippers are expecting volume in 2018 to be similar to last year’s.

Rain in mid-March really had an adverse affect on strawberry shipments for Easter this year.  In addition to Santa Maria, Salinas and Watsonville, strawberry shipments also have been coming out of Ventura County.

Summer Citrus From South Africa’s Planning Session Leads To Positive 2018 Season

by Summer Citrus from South Africa (SCSA)

CITRUSDAL, South Africa – Easy Peelers, followed by Navels and Star Rubies from South Africa, will start to arrive in containers in the United States towards the end of May, with the first conventional vessel arriving the third week of June at the port of Philadelphia. To support a successful 2018 season, members from across the U.S. and Western & Northern Cape came together in March for the Annual Planning Meeting, hosted by SCSA, to review sales and marketing plans, production volumes, shipping schedules, and category trends.

It is expected be a good season despite the challenges associated with the droughts occurring in the Western Cape.  With international best practices, innovation and the latest technology, growers are able to maximize their resources in these difficult times to produce an increased volume of good looking crop.



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San Francisco Market Changes Name, Look; Calilfornia Stone Fruit Shipments Start

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A4The San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market has shortened its name to The SF Market.  It also is rebranding with a new look to highlight the market’s role in the Bay Area’s food economy.  The market’s 31 produce vendors include wholesalers, distributors and online grocery delivery companies, according to a news release.

The rebranding effort comes as the market has signed a 60-year lease with the City of San Francisco and recognition as a historic asset by San Francisco’s Legacy Business Registry.  The SF Market name and logo, developed by Trinity Brand Group, will be on the market’s website, on market signage and on merchant trucks, according to the release.

“With its innovative track record of helping food businesses grow at every stage and size, The SF Market has played an instrumental role in how the Bay Area has evolved into a leading food destination,” Matthew Youngblood, co-founder of Trinity Brand Group, said in the release.

“We have been thrilled to have the expertise of Trinity Brand Group behind us as we took this important step to rebrand our organization,” Larry Brucia, president of the board of directors, said in the release. “Through our collaboration with Trinity and the roll-out of our new look, our goal is to increase awareness of the enormous positive impact of The SF Market and to connect with food purveyors and the community in a bigger, better and more meaningful way than ever before.”

The SF Market is currently working on a $96 million reinvestment project to upgrade and expand the facility in Bayview-Hunters Point, including an 80,000-square-foot building, according to the release.

Stone Fruit Shipments

California stone fruit shipments have just got underway, with a later and lighter start.

Giumarra Cos. office in Reedley, CA, started harvesting white and yellow peaches and yellow nectarines this past week.  The company plans to begin its white nectarines and apricots new week, followed by plums a few days later.

Simonian Fruit Co. of Fowler, CA kicks off  its stone fruit season about May 20th, about a week later than normal.

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Fewer Mexican Grape Loadings are Seen; MountainKing Texas Red Potatoes are Underway

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Imported Mexican grapes will still be good, but a little less than an year ago.  Meanwhile Texas red potato shipments have started.

Green seedless grapes in Mexican have taken biggest hit for the new 2018 season, dropping 30 percent from a total of 4.4 million cases in 2017 to 3.1 million cases this year.

Early green seedless are expected to be down 28 percent to 2.6 million cases.  Early green seedless production in 2017 was 3.6 million cases.  Red seedless varieties this year will be off 23 percent from 10.1 million cases a year ago.  The 2018 estimate is for 7.8 million boxes of red seedless table grapes.

Red seeded, black and other varieties are each expected to be off 15 percent this spring. Red seeded export production this year is estimated to be 584,000 cases.  Black grape volume is anticipated to be 1.1 million boxes. Other varieties should total 713,000 boxes.

Mexican grape shipments a year busted all records hitting 16 million cases.

Peak shipments for green seedless would be the third week of May through June..  Peak shipments for red seedless will be similar.

Some good news for produce truckers hauling grapes out of Nogales is there has been a 50 percent increase in inspectors at the Nogales crossing.  This is expected to reduce delays at the border. 

Mexican vegetables and watermelon crossing at Nogales – grossing about $6800 to New York City.

 Texas Red Potato Shipments

by MountainKing Potatoes

HOUSTON, TX – MountainKing Potatoes, one of the world’s largest growers of potato varieties, has started the harvest of its Texas new crop of red potatoes.

Grown in the Rio Grande Valley, south central Texas and the western section of the state’s panhandle, MountainKing’s Texas Reds are harvested fresh daily, pre-cooled and packed to order in specially-marked 5-pound bags.

“Our Texas Reds have been a consistent seller…,” says John Pope, vice president of sales and marketing for MountainKing Potatoes.  “All signs point to a very solid harvest this year.”

Pope explains the firm and waxy texture of the Texas Reds help them maintain their shape when boiled.  Plus, their high moisture content creates a more flavorful potato salad while their thinner skins make for a brighter, more attractive presentation.  The product also is suitable for grilling and mashing.

Besides their great look and taste, MountainKing’s Texas Red Potatoes are packed with 35 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C and 16 percent of dietary fiber, a strong selling point for health-conscious shoppers.

Based in Houston, MountainKing grows, packs, markets and distributes fresh potatoes to grocers across the United States.  Currently, about one million U.S. households enjoy MountainKing products every week.

Mexican produce crossing the border at Pharr, Tx – grossing about $3800 to Chicago.

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Salinas Vegetable Shipments are Rebounding from a Late Start

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A21Spring weather conditions have gradually improved California’s Salinas Valley produce shipments, which had been hampered by rain and cold weather.

Still, some shippers such as Tanimura & Antle Inc. of Salinas see volume being lighter than normal on some items in late May and early June because of planting delays.

At the same time growing conditions and ultimately shipments are expected to better than in 2017, which had even worse weather conditions.

Salinas Valley vegetable crop acreage increased slightly from 286,637 acres in 2015 to 290,987 acres in 2016, the latest year for which statistics are available from the Monterey County agricultural commissioner’s office.

There has been a significant decline in artichoke acreage in Monterey County, from 7,242 acres in 2006 to 4,050 in 2016.

Weather has been a problem for impacted overall artichoke production for a number of years.  This has resulted in the nation’s largest artichoke grower Ocean Mist Farms of, Castroville, CA

deciding to diversify artichoke growing locations to include areas such as the Coachella Valley, rather than concentrate all of its volume in Monterey County.

D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California, based in Salinas, completed its desert lettuce shipments the last week of March after finishing up other vegetable crops in mid-March.  Most Salinas vegetable shipments got underway in early March, but a spring rain descended on the area the last few days of the month, bringing most of the harvests to a halt, and resulting in quality issues. The quality of Salinas vegetables has improved with the weather.

Another Salinas produce company, Coastline Family Farms, started its Salinas vegetable season April 9th following a few days of rains.  Early season leaf lettuce and romaine hearts showed some signs of blister and peel because of an early spring frost, but apparently has experienced a significant improvement in quality since.

Lucky Strike Farms of Burlingame, CA., expects to have a steady vegetable deal this season.

Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $8300 to New York City.


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