Posts Tagged “Chicago International Produce Market”

Chicago Produce Market is Enclosing Loading Docks

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ChicagoMktDoorsn the decades long discussion to move Chicago’s wholesale produce businesses from the South Water Street Market to the current Chicago International Produce Market, one design compromise reached, was to keep the feel of the modern market, with open loading docks.

Chicago produce wholesalers “fought” for years over building a new market.  The move finally came in 2002.  Ironically, two individuals that were instrumental in making it happen – didn’t even move to the new market.  Instead, Peter Testa of Testa Produce Inc., as well as Gene Ruffolo of C. Ruffolo & Sons moved elsewhere in Chicago.  Ruffolo, who is located just across the Chicago River from the new Chicago Market is leasing space from one of the nation’s largest produce wholesale distributors, Anthony Marano Co.  Marano built his gigantic facility before the new market was even built as he decided not wait on others to make up their minds what to do.

While some wholesalers wanted to keep an old time produce market feel, eventually concerns over food safety prevailed as cold chain considerations grew in the industry.  This eventually led to the decision to enclose the front docks.

When the market opened a dozen years ago, the market’s back side was cold chain controlled for receiving produce.  Customers loading on the front dock had a high overhang, but it wasn’t enclosed.

This spring the Chicago International Market is completing the addition of rolling doors — similar to large garage doors — to help protect the display dock.

The doors are not insulated to control the cold chain, but they will block blowing blizzards and the cold wind.  The doors may have some influence in dock temperatures, but they will certainly cut the wind, wind chill and snow on the dock.

The winter two years ago was the final straw for many in making the decision to invest in the doors.

There are no heaters behind the new doors, but when it is minus 20 degrees, the snow at least will not be blowing across the dock.

Mexican produce crossing the border into the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas – grossing about $3000 to Chicago.

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First Loads of Washington state Cherries are Shipped

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IMG_6043I was in Chicago early Friday (June 14) when the first two loads of cherries arrived at the Chicago International Produce Market (CIPM) from Washington state. Cherry shipments have gotten off to a slow start, but should really be picking up in the days ahead.

The truckers were paid a gross freight of $4,500 for the run originating out of the Yakima Valley.  The f.o.b. worth of the load of cherries was approximately $125,000!

There have been some concerns relating to weather factors causing cracks in Washington cherries this season. However, these loads of early variety Chelan cherries had decent quality.  The more popular Bing variety of cherries should start shipments the week of June 24th.

If you haul produce and plan on loading Washington cherries, continue to check what’s being put into the truck.  Just because this stone fruit had good quality, there’s not guarantee this cracking will not show up in future loads.

Volume on Washington cherries in increasing and should hit a peak around June 26 -28, just in time for Fourth of July deliveries.

Shipments should continue into August.

Washington also continues to ship late season apples and pears from both the Yakima and Wenachee valleys.  Although not as attractive an item, the state’s Columbia Basin is still loading potatoes.

Columbia Basin potatoes – grossing about $4100 to Chicago.

Yakima valley apples and pears – about $6500 to New York City.

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