Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

Peruvian Citrus Should be Up 4% with Normal Start

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Peru expects to export up to 270,000 tons of citrus fruits (oranges, mandarins, limes, lemons, and grapefruit) during 2023, according to a report by the Peruvian Citrus Growers’ Association (ProCitrus),

Despite a late start on season harvest, this is a 4% volume increase compared to 2022 which had 259,000 tons exported.

ProCitrus reports early varieties are a bit behind and the first peak of the season is expected to arrive at the end of April and May.

Exports will continue until August, led by a sharp drop in the first flower, which means the season will be marked by the volumes of the second and third flowers. 

Last season, exports were challenged by high transport costs and the war in Ukraine. Many citrus producers were forced to switch to other fruits, which has reduced crops, especially mandarins and oranges, by an average of 8%.

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Mexican Winter Strawberry Shipments Increasing Each Season

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A leading export item for Mexico are strawberries which increased 9% in 2022, making it one of the most exported berries in the country. From 2017 to 2021, Mexico produced, on average, 655,000 tons of strawberries.

The primary producing regions in the country are Michoacán, Guanajuato, Baja California, Mexico and Baja California Sur with approximately 98% of all production volume. 

Founded in 2012, Naturberry is one of the leading companies in the Mexican strawberry industry. It is a subsidiary of the North American company Naturipe Berry Growers, part of the Naturipe Farms group.

In 10 years the operation grew from two workers to 18 workers, and from producing only 150,000 boxes to 3 million 4kg boxes of strawberries during the last season.

Naturberry also imports strawberries from California to Mexico during the winter months, between June and September.

The company imports around 500,000 boxes of strawberries during that time of the year. 

Of the 3 million boxes that Naturberry is exporting to the U.S., between 200 and 250 thousand contain organic strawberries.

The main markets are the United States and Canada, and their production in California complements Mexico’s off-season.

98 percent of the company’s exports go to the United States, 

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Higher Exports of Mexican Mangoes are Expected this Year

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Between April and August, Mexican mango exports are at a peak, although the season starts in January and runs until September. 

Emex Mexico, a leading association of Mexican mango exporters expects a 5% to 8% increase in volume for the current season compared to 2022. 

New Exporters

At the end of last year, Colombia announced its first shipment of mangos to the U.S. market. Even though their volumes are low, they expect to increase exports in the seasons to come. 

Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru are the main South American exporters of mango to the U.S. and they recorded a 24% increase in export volumes last year. 

Colombia is currently exporting two varieties of mangoes, the sugar mango which is a small fruit marketed as “pocket-sized” which can be eaten with their skin, making it the ideal treat for kids or anytime snacking. This variety just recently entered the U.S. market. 

The second variety, which made its U.S. debut in December 2022, is the fresh mango, with producers expecting to export 1,000 tons of the variety this year, hoping to become a strong supplier to one of the top consumer countries for this fruit.

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Mexican Veggie Shipments Looking Much Better than Last Year

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Although there has been a slow start to the Culiacan production, volume is starting to kick in this month. Eggplant, cucumbers, colored bells and other vegetables will run strong before the traditional fade as the heat rolls in late April and May.

Sonoran vegetable production is underway in Guaymas for SunFed of Rio Rico, AZ but starting to wind down. The transition started a couple of weeks ago and SunFed fields to the north are going strong.

Quality of the product is reported good. The cold slowed growth up – particularly for the colored bells and eggplant – so harvest started a little later. Squash volume is good but even better with other vegetable and melon.

The production outlook for West Mexico is good. While unlikely, the greatest threat to production could be late-winter cold in Sonora. 

Culiacan farms in mid-February, had temperatures colder than normal. Abnormally cool weather has slowed some of the production out of the Sinaloa area. Also impacting the Mexican vegetable season this winter has been excessive rain particularly to the north in the state of Sonora.

Despite the wet and cooler weather in Mexico, this year’s production and market prices have been much better than 2022. A year ago, growers had significant labor problems that impacted production while farms were also battling dramatic year over year cost increases in 2022. This all made for a very difficult first quarter last year. The outlook for the first and second quarters of 2023 looks better than 2022. 

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Salinas Spring Vegetable Shipments Expected to Have a Rocky Start

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Significant weather factors played havoc with the transition of Salinas Valley vegetables to the deserts of California and Arizona several months ago. It is now time for that transition from the south to Salinas and weather conditions up north are going to result in a rocky return.

Shipping gaps and disruptions are already occurring and will continue until at least early on many vegetable items. The problems started when rains prevented plantings from occurring on time. This will adversely affect the size, weight and condition of the product at harvesting.

Caution is urged when loading Salinas vegetable and make sure your receiver knows what quality, size, etc. of product they will be receiving.

There will be delayed shipments of broccoli and cauliflower in the Salinas Valley because of the excessive cold temperatures in February.

Florida vegetables will be an attractive alternative to Salinas for receivers until Florida starts winding down in April and May.

Celery volume will be limited this spring.

Oxnard received a lot of rain, delaying plantings during the early part of the farming season. However, there are Huron loadings of Iceberg lettuce, which will assist more consistent production of Iceberg through the transition period from the desert to the Salinas Valley. There are very few shipping from Huron this spring. Many will not be making the transition from the desert to Salinas or Santa Maria without shipping gaps.

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United Apple Has Strong Supplies of Domestic and Import Apples

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Lyndonville, NY – Last year’s domestic apple crop is a tale of two seasons as weather conditions in major growing regions dictated significantly different results for orchards in the Northwest and Northeast.

The extreme heat in late summer and overall challenging weather conditions in Washington caused a significant 20% drop in volume to a 100 million case crop. This shortfall created supply challenges for retailers who typically rely heavily on fruit from the country’s largest apple growing region.

On the other side of the country, the New York apple crop reported a strong 32+ million bushel volume, with good sizing, high color and excellent flavor.  Basically a rebound year from the previous harvest, the eastern region experienced near record volume with traditional varieties including Acey Mack, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady and Red Delicious.

United Apple has a network of 59 local growers with their managed club varieties: EverCrisp, Ruby Frost and SnapDragon.

EverCrisp is now in its fifth season with product projected to be available through May. SnapDragon is in season nine and had volume until late March. Ruby Frost in its ninth season will have product into June.


With Washington’s crop being down, United Apple has reached out to its Southern hemisphere import partners to support requested volumes for slicers and processors to build consistent volumes for national programs.

Here is the schedule for United Apple’s import arrivals:

Gala – late March through mid-July;

Grannies – mid-April through mid-August;

Fuji – mid-May through late August;

Pink Lady – mid-May through early September.

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First-Time Arrival of Columbian Sweet Sugar Mangos Coming this Week

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Colombia’s Sugar Mango Association is preparing for the first entry into the United States market, with arrivals beginning the second week of March. 

Preparations for entry to the U.S. market have been underway for several years.  U.S. consumers will get their first taste of this sweet, pocket-sized mango with a full marketing and social media campaign titled “We’re Small, Sweet, and Easy to Eat.”

These naturally grown “pocket mangos” easily fit in the palm of your hand, and are unique due to their ability to be eaten with their skin, making them an ideal treat for kids or anytime snacking.

Sweet Sugar Mangos have red and yellow, fragrant flesh with a sweet juicy taste and a brix level of 22.  Unlike many other exotic mangos, sweet Sugar Mangos do not have a fibrous taste.   These miniature mangos are grown naturally, non-GMO, and have a peak harvest season of April through August, with initial imports beginning in March. 

Sugar Mangos are exclusively grown in Colombia’s tropical Caribbean Coast, close to Santa Marta.  The tropical trade winds and unique soil create an ideal microclimate for this specialty fruit, with an edible skin, much thinner than traditional mangos.   The fruit is highlighted for its extreme popularity in the region, known generically as “Mango de Azucar.”

Unlike the generic tree fruit, Sugar Mangos undergo a proprietary pre-harvest and cultivation method, with an immediate cool chain, and a patented, food-safe wash applied post-harvest to condition the fruit well for travel and the best possible taste and shelf life.  The Sugar Mango Association is the manager of the Sugar Mango trademarks at origin and globally.

The Association and program are open to qualified growers, distributors, exporters, and importers via license.  The variety and brand are trademarked at origin in Colombia, as well as in various international markets, including the United States. 

“As with other extremely successful branded fruit programs, Sugar Mangos is designed to deliver a special and unique taste experience to the consumer, and to allow growers, distributors, exporters, and importers all align in a more precise way to ensure a consistent and quality taste experience,” commented Nicolas Mairon, development director for Sugar Mangos brand and licensing programs.

“We have been working for several years with family farmers to prepare this product for export, and for the high expectations of consumers in the North American and European markets.  Sugar Mango is lucky to count some of the top regional growers, exporters, and importers as part of our brand.”

Sweet Sugar Mangos are offered commercially in 2 kilo (4.45 pound) cases, which hold between 17-22 mangos.  Specially branded retail kits, POS signage, digital tools, and a social media campaign are all available to help merchandise and sell Sugar Mangos in store.

A limited quantity of 6,000-9,000 cases will be offered weekly in the United States for the initial seasons, with programs already being reserved by top grocers, distributors, and markets.

The exclusive importer of Sugar Mangos in the United States is Seasons Farm Fresh, Miami, FL.

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Prospects Looking Good for Southeast Berry Shipments

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Southeast berry grower-shippers are expecting good-quality blueberries and blackberries this spring with decent volume.

Florida Classic Growers, Dundee, FL., is primarily a citrus shipper but added blueberries and peaches to its product line about 10 years ago. 

The company produces four kinds of blueberries in the Polk County region in the central part of the state. Some varieties kick off early, while others come on later in the season, providing the company with berries from mid-March until around early May. Volume similar to last year is expected.

Crystal Valley Foods  of Miami anticipates a good crop of blueberries and blackberries this season. The operation sources its Southeast berries from Alabama and Georgia. Southeast blueberries will start shipping at the beginning of April, and blackberries will get underway in June.

Crystal Valley Foods expects to have increased volume on Southeast blueberries compared to last year, and blackberry volume should be similar to previous years.

Naturipe Farms of Salinas, CA reports the start of it blueberries and blackberries from Florida, Georgia and North Carolina will be a bit later this year due to weather factors. Volume is expected to be up from a year when there was significant damage in Georgia due to frost.

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Shipper is Increasing Grape Volume by 1 Million l Boxes this Year

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Fresh Farms of Rio Rico, AZ who also grows produce in Mexico is increasing its grape volume by one million cartons this year.

The grower/shipper has a wide range of fruits and vegetables with year-round availability. The firm also produces conventional and organic produce.

The company is growing its grape volume both in Jalisco and Sonora.

Jalisco volume will start in late March with a green grape harvest. Total Mexican grape volume for the company should be nearly 6.5 million cartons in 2023, up about a million cartons from a year ago.

Most of that volume is in newer varieties, such as Cotton Candy, Candy Snaps, Candy Hears, Candy Dreams, Sweet Globes, Sapphires and more.

Fresh Farms also has soft and hard squashes, green peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, corn, watermelon and other items.

The company is growing its melons category dramatically due to increasing demand.

For all of its commodities the operation is seeking to expand availability. Last year the company shipped over 12 million boxes of produce, up from about 2.8 million boxes in 2009.

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Chilean Grape Exports Expected to be Down About 10% this Season

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A 9.7% decrease from last season in table grape shipments is forecast by
Chile’s Association of Fruit Exporters (ASOEX) .

ASOEX reports the fifth estimate of the Table Grape Committee projects a significant increase in shipments of new varieties.

Shipments are expected to reach 67.1 million boxes of 8.2 kilos. This is a 9.7% drop compared to the 2021-2022 season, and a slight decrease with respect to the Committee’s fourth estimate of almost 1%.

The industry is optimistic about quality due in large part to new varieties, totalling 54% of total grape shipments for the upcoming season.

The new forecast exports predicts 67.1 million boxes. Of this amount, 36 million boxes will be of new varieties, while 19.5 million boxes will consist of traditional varieties.

The Chilean table grape industry is changing, which is highlighted this season, with the production increase of new varieties and improving quality. 

In the 2012-2013 season, Chile exported more than 27 million boxes of Red Globe grapes and traditional grapes reached 75.6 million  boxes. While in the same period, new varieties accounted for only 1.8 million boxes. 

In the case of new red varieties, exports are expected to reach 18.4 million cases, including Timco, Allison, Sweet Celebration, Scarlotta Seedless, Arra 29, Jack Salute, Candy Hearts, and Ralli Seedless. 

New white grapes are expected to ship 13.6 million cases, including Arra 15, Timpson, Sweet Globe, Autumn Crisp, Blanc Seedless and Cotton Candy.

Meanwhile, exports of new black grape varieties are expected to total 4.4 million cases, including Sweet Flavors, Sable Seedless, Sapphire, Maylen and Midnight Beauty.

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