Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

Imported Peruvian Avocados off to Good Start in U.S.

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Imported Peruvian avocados should hit 200 million pounds to the U.S. this year, according to the Peruvian Avocado Commission.

Significant volume is expected by mid-June, with the season continuing until late September.

Index Fresh Inc. of Riverside, CA received its first Peruvian avocados only a few days ago. The company’s foodservice demand dropped about 90 percent around Easter, but the situation seemed to be improving by early May. Foodservice sales at Index Fresh had risen to 50 to 60 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels.

Robinson Fresh of Prairie, MN received its first U.S. arrivals of Peruvian avocados on May 3, about the same time as last year The company expects volume to be higher this year than last.

Calavo Growers Inc. of Santa Paula, CA should see its first arrivals June 15-21.

Mission Produce Inc. of Oxnard, CA should be up slightly compared to last year,

First arrivals were expected in the U.S. the first half of June, just in time as Mexico’s crop winds down for the summer.

McDaniel Fruit Co., McDaniel Fruit Co. of Fallbrook, CA received its first fruit of the season the week of May 11.

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Peak Shipments of NW Cherries Leading Up to 4th of July

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While there will be fewer Northwest cherry shipments than a year ago, which was 23 million 20-pound boxes, in 2020 there will be plenty of loading opportunities.

The original estimate for this year’s crop was about 19 million to 20 million boxes. It was issued in early May by the Northwest Cherry Growers, an organization with about 2,500 cherry growers in the Pacific Northwest. The group released an official estimate of 20.5 million 15-pound boxes.

Initial shipments have just started and volume will be ramping up in the coming days.

Sage Fruit Co. of Yakima, WA, reports the season is looking excellent and there will be good supplies heading towards the Fourth of July.

The Oppenheimer Group of Vancouver, British Columbia recalls last year was one of the best in recent history for cherry shipments.

Oneonta Trading Corp. Wenatchee, WA is expecting to have 25 percent fewer loadings this season due to frost damage.

Despite being down in volume as a state, the addition of Stadelman Fruit to to company family has positioned Oneonta Trading to have a great season.

Chelan Fresh Marketing of Chelan, WA believes there will be improved shipments in the in northern growing areas of the Northwest than a year ago. The company expects shipments to run through mid-August.

BC Tree Fruits of Kelowna, British Columbia will start with light volume about June 12 and sees peak shipments hitting in mid July and continuing until the first half of August.

Yakima Valley apples – grossing about $6300 to New York City.

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Georgia Vegetable Shipments to be Cut by Weather Issues

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A combination of a warm winter, rainy spring and throwing in a few hail storms and tornadoes to boot, will mean fewer Georgia vegetable shipments this season. Although Georgia is shipping some type of veggie the year around, mid-May to mid-June is when heaviest volume occurs.

The weather factors will probably reduce Vidalia onion volume as much as 20 percent, although a better handle on losses will come when harvest is complete.

Baker Farms of Norman Park in southwestern Georgia has kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, collards, turnip roots, beet roots, chard, cilantro, cabbage and broccoli. Although Baker Farms grows veggies year-round, it spring shipments will be less, primarily due to excessive rains.

A&M Farms of Lyons, GA will have a 15 to 20 less volume with its Vidalia onions.

Generations Farms of Vidalia, Ga., was hit by hail in April which damaged a few fields, causing a loss of about 85 acres, or 10 percent of its Vidalia onion crop.

Shuman Farms of Reidsville, GA reports the Vidalia onion industry will see lower yields per acre compared to the past three to four years, as well as a smaller size profile.

Corbett Bros. Farms of Lake Park, GA, which is part of the Grower Network, had some tornado damage in mid- to late April. The farm, located in the southern-central part of Georgia close to the Florida border, produces cabbage, cucumbers, bell peppers, eggplants, hot peppers and citrus.

Georgia watermelon shipments, which rank fourth nationally in volume, get underway in early June, with peak loadings coming by June 20th. The state averages over 18,000 acres of harvested watermelon each year. Other top watermelon-shipping states are Texas, Florida and California.

Vidalia onions – grossing about $2600 to Chicago and New York City.

 

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Asparagus Loadings Coming out of Mexico and Michigan

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Eric Pennucci of Horizon Air Services, a Boston trucking firm, does not like the idea of 18-year-olds behind the wheel of tractor-trailers.

SALINAS, CA – Baja Son Growers began harvesting their asparagus crops on May 1st out of Central Mexico. While supplies are picking up they’re encouraging customers to take advantage of various ad opportunities through the month of June. 

“With increased acreage out of Central Mexico, we will be able to handle more ad opportunities than we have in previous seasons,” says Robert Leonard, Director or Sales, Baja Son Growers.

Their current volume, along with new plantings in Baja and Caborca, will now give the Salinas-based grower-shipper approximately 2 million boxes of fresh asparagus each year. Baja Son Growers also grows and packs 2 million cases of conventional green onions and now 250,000 cases of organic green onions each year. They continue to grow and invest in new equipment and technology to give their customers fresh, healthy produce.  

“We are expanding our production volume in both green onions and asparagus. We plan on increasing our green onion volume by 5-8% per year for the next 5 years. Additionally, we plan on expanding our asparagus volume by 10-15% annually for the next 5 years,” says Robert Leonard, Director of Sales, Baja Son Growers. 

About Baja Son Growers

Baja Son Growers is a vertically integrated grower-shipper for the acreage they sell. With full control over the supply chain,

Michigan Asparagus Shipments

Michigan asparagus shipments got under way the week of May 19th with some companies, while others are getting started this week. Quality and volumes will be similar to last season with peak shipments in late May and early June.
About the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board
The Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board (MAAB) promotes the production and consumption of Michigan Asparagus nationwide.

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Fresh Apples Remaining to be Shipped Remain Above Last Year

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There are 21 percent more fresh apples remaining in storages to be shipped this season compared to a year ago

As of May 1 the total stood at 46.8 million 42-pound bushels, which is 21 percent greater than a year ago, and 18 percent more than the five-year average.

The U.S. Apple Association reports apples in storage for the processing market on May 1 totaled 18.4 million bushels, 18 percent more than year-ago levels, and 12 percent more than the five-year average.

While fewer fresh-market apples were moved out of storage in April, the COVID-19 pandemic did not lead to a significant drop in fresh sales from year-to-year, according to statistics in the apple association’s monthly MarketNews report.

U.S. fresh-apple movement in April was 11.99 million bushels, compared with  12.3 million in April 2019. In April 2018, 13.78 million bushels were shipped, leaving 43.95 million bushels of fresh apples in storage.

The states with the most fresh-market apples on May 1, in bushels, were:

Washington: 43.48 million; New York: 1.46 million; Michigan: 700,00; and Pennsylvania: 458,000.

The leading fresh-market varieties in storage on May 1, in bushels, were:

  • Red delicious: 11.16 million
  • Gala: 9.56 million
  • Granny smith: 6.7 million
  • Fujis: 6.13 million
  • Golden: 3.72 million
  • Honeycrisp: 3.19 million
  • Cripps pink/Pink Lady: 2.38 million

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Northwest Cherry Shipments are Starting Soon from Washington

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As California cherry shipments wind down loadings will soon move to the Northwest led by Washington state. Initial movement starts in May, with peak shipments occurring during June before the season winds down in August.

The Northwest Cherry Growers have issued an initial forecast of 20.5 million, 15-pound boxes. No record shipments are being predicted this season, but there should be good volume, with larger sized fruit.

A strong start to cherry shipments is expected in the last few days of May, and due to growing conditions, one of the largest spreads between early and late districts is predicted. In other words, a little longer shipping season this year.

One of the earliest areas for the first Washington cherry shipments are Mattawa (Washington), about 60 miles northeast of Yakima. Another early producing area is LeGrow, found in the Tri-Cities grown region. A third early producing are is along the Columbia River at Hermiston, OR. One of the latest producing areas is at Wenatchee, WA.

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U.S. Berry Shipments in Good Volume.

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Plentiful berry shipments are seen in the months ahead for strawberries, blueberries.

California Giant of Watsonville, CA says it is growing and shipping fruit with good size and quality on all four types of berries.

The company finished winter strawberry loadings in Oxnard and Santa Maria in late April and scheduled new plantings. Volume in Watsonville has been increasing this month.

Watsonville raspberry shipments go underway in the first half of Mayharvest was expect.

California Giant’s blackberry pickings are expected to start in early to mid-June, and Mexico blackberry volume continues toward peak shipments.

Blueberries

Mexico is reporting good blueberry quality and similar quality is being reported from Oxnard. Georgia also is generally reporting good blueberry quality.

Strawberries

In California’s Central San Joaquin Valley, the first organic blueberry ranch started in late April, while significant conventional volume has been occurring in recent days.    

Seven Seas of Visalia, CA is, a division of Tom Lange Co. Inc., Springfield, Ill. reports shipments of conventional strawberries in Santa Maria started in mid-February and organic strawberries in early March.

The company’s California berry crop is off to an excellent start, with some of the best quality and yields ever. Seven Seas will have heavy volumes throughout the spring and summer.

Homegrown Organic Farms of Porterville, CA kicked off its California organic blueberry shipments in late April, continuing for about a month until late May or early June before transitioning to the Pacific Northwest, where loadings will continue at least through August.

Supplies of Northwest blueberries should be plentiful with high quality in late summer.

HBF International LLC of Sheridan, OR is likewise full of optimism and will be harvest blueberries up and down the San Joaquin Valley until June 15 or 20 and then transition to Oregon around June 20.

Oregon blueberry shipments also look promising. Movement should continue through October.

HBF will have blackberries from Oregon from late June through September.

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Fewer Vegetable Shipments Seen Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

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Fewer plantings of California leafy greens are expected to result in less shipments during the next few months. This is because of declines in foodservice demand related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

RaboResearch conversations with vegetable shippers reveal they are likely to cut acreage by 10 to 15 percent over the next 60 days.

Because of reduced demand over the past six weeks, growers for foodservice have walked away from fields. Many are hoping to redirect shipments to retailers.

The acreage not being used now represents 50 to 85 percent of the land normally planted for product destined to restaurants, schools and other foodservice accounts. Vegetables generally are directed to foodservice accounts more than fruits. Tomatoes and lettuce are two of the higher volume vegetables going to foodservice.

About 15 percent of fresh fruit is shipped for foodservice.

Retail performance

Increased shipments to retail have helped compensate for lagging foodservice demand.

Retail statistics for the four weeks ending April 12 reveal fresh produce sales increased 17 percent compared with the same period last year.

Fresh fruit sales were up about 9 percent for the four-week period, while fresh vegetable sales were up 25 percent.

Orange sales for the period were up 55 percent, but sales of grapes, melons and pears were down.

The 25 percent overall increase in vegetables was highlighted by gains in potatoes and sweet potatoes, at 80 percent and 55 increases, respectively.

Packaged salad sales for the four-week period ending April 12 were up only 7 percent.

On the plus side foodservice shipments are likely to increase when states end lockdowns.

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Salinas Valley Produce Shipments Building in Volume

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Good hauling opportunities should happen this spring with fruit and vegetable shipments from California’s thanks primarily to near ideal weather conditions.

Monterey County, which encompasses the valley, produced about $2.8 billion worth of vegetables in 2018, the latest year for which statistics are available from the county agricultural commissioner’s office, and just over $1 billion worth of fruit.

Coastline Family Farms of Salinas will ship about 25 kinds of mixed vegetables, including iceberg lettuce, romaine, romaine hearts, leaf lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green onions, kale and spinach.

Coastline expects to be down overall with vegetable shipments, although its early season volume should be about the same as last year. Later season loadings look to be down because of fewer plantings due to competition from other growing areas during the peak growing season and because of the impact of COVID-19.

Misionero Vegetables LLC of Gonzalez, CA. has year-round programs for salads, value-added lettuces and mostly organic vegetables. The grower-shipper grows in the desert during the fall and winter and transitions back to the Salinas Valley for spring and summer. 

Bengard Ranch Inc. Salinas is shipping Iceberg lettuce, romaine, romaine hearts, broccoli, cauliflower, green leaf and red leaf. Additionally, the company is shipping celery from Oxnard that will switch to Salinas in June.

Lucky Strike Farms of Burlingame, CA notes while shipments are rolling along, distribution avenues are going to change drastically until restaurants open again. Although restaurants in California were closed because of the outbreak, more than half were open for takeout orders. The company handles a full line of vegetables, citrus, some melons and fruit.

California Giant Berry Farms of Watsonville, CA reports Salinas berries are showing good quality. It’s blackberry loadings got underway in May and continue. Raspberries started in mid May and blackberries should be ready for harvest by the middle of June.

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Kern County Vegetable Shipments are Underway

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Grower-shippers in California’s Kern County say they started on-time start with this season’s vegetable shipments, in spite of heavy rainfall.

Danny Andrews Farms of Bakersfield, CA reports minor delays due to rain on the start of lettuce and cabbage, but harvest of those items began April 13.

Andrews started vegetable shipments with iceberg lettuce, green and red cabbage. The company will have carrots in June and melons in July.

It remains to be seen whether the rains will adverse affect quality and yields of melons.

Johnston Farms of Edison, CA wrapped up citrus shipments in mid-April and started its potato season nearly a week ago, with peppers expected by June 1.

Kirschenman Enterprises Inc. of Edison, CA started its potato season with shipments from the Coachella Valley, and now is focusing on its Bakersfield crop which includes white, red and yellow spuds.

The company expects to launch its table grape season in Kern County at the end of June. Kirshenman reports the grape industry expects to have 10 percent less volume this year, not because of COVID-19, but due to overproduction, declining markets, and some grape varieties being pulled in favor of new varieties.

TD Produce Sales of Bakersfield started shipping white potatoes in late April and red and yellow potatoes in early May.

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