Posts Tagged “Fresh Produce Association of the Americas”

Nogales Import Report for 2015-16 Season

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dscn8448By Fresh Produce Association of the Americas

Nogales – During the recently celebrated 48th Nogales Produce Convention, on Nov. 3- Nov. 5, the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, (FPAA) released the 2015-16 Nogales Produce Import Report.

The report shows the significant impact that fresh produce imported via Nogales has in the overall trade of fruits and vegetable in the country. During the last season, imports reached a total of 6.3 billion lbs. which represents 17% of U.S. global imports.

The report presents a five-year comparison, and it reveals what items are highest in volume and in value.

As part of the FPAA Produce Convention program, a panel of importers discussed the report, offering possible explanations for the volume variations, discussing industry trends, and talking about information impacting the upcoming season.

These importers on the panel included: Chris Ciruli, COO, Ciruli Bros. Inc.; Fried DeSchouwer, President, Greenhouse Produce Co.; Rod Sbragia, Director of Sales and Marketing, Tricar Sales Inc.; and Mikee Suarez, Sales, MAS Melons & Grapes. Moderating the panel was Lance Jungmeyer, President of FPAA.

In summary,  “Tomatoes have started a new growth phase, separating themselves from watermelons, the No. 2 item in Nogales. This is reflective of the continued growth in romas, and persisting strong demand for round reds,” said Jungmeyer.

The panel said to expect more growth in grapes, as companies add varietals that perform well in the early part of the season.

“A few years ago we had only three or four white, or green, varieties of grapes with any volume in Mexico. Now, we see 10 or more varietals being grown, with interesting and new flavor profiles,” said panelist Mikee Suarez of MAS Melons and Grapes. “These grapes also fill a great gap at the beginning of the Mexican grape season, when Chilean white grapes are leaving the market.”

The panel noted how the Nogales produce deal can no longer be characterized as having a January through April peak in volume.

In fact, the statistics bear out that there is an even stronger second peak in the season in late April through June. Both grapes and watermelons contribute to the second peak.

The following graph shows the evolution and changes in the peaks in the last five seasons:

While a lack of water and labor in western U.S. states is shifting volume to Mexico, there also is a clear trend of improvements in logistics and infrastructure at the Southwest border that should enable greater product flows through Nogales.

For instance, the new Unified Cargo Inspection Program in Nogales is bringing Mexican Customs officers to the U.S. side of the border to conduct inspections. Companies with the proper security clearances can take advantage of this program to reduce their crossing times from 4-6 hours during peak season to less than an hour.

Light volume with Mexican melons, vegetables through Nogales – grossing about $3200 to Chicago.



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Mexican Produce Crossing Through S. Texas Could Surpass Nogales Soon

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DSCN7165Will South Texas surpass Nogales, Az with imports of fresh produce from Mexico n a year?

Mexican fresh produce imports entering the U.S. through the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas increased 21 percent from 2014 to 2015, and 108 percent over the past eight years.  And Pharr, Tx, will likely surpass Nogales, as the busiest U.S. port of entry late this year or in early 2017.

These are some highlights of a recent study of USDA data by Texas A&M University’s Center for North American Studies.

By comparison, Arizona crossings were up 13 percent and California crossings 12 percent from 2014 to 2015.

Over the past eight years, Arizona crossings are up 31 percent, California’s 50 percent.

In 2015, about 210,000 Mexican produce loads crossed through Texas, 147,000 loads through Arizona and 65,000 loads through California.  Crossings at some Texas ports were particularly high in 2015.  Imports through Pharr rose 36 percent, imports through Laredo 22 percent.

The big jump over the past eight years, meanwhile, can be attributed to a number of factors: improvements in Mexican infrastructure and highways; lower production in the U.S. (due to labor, water and other issues), higher U.S. demand for fresh produce; the Mexican government’s investment in the country’s produce industry; and U.S. shippers’ investment in Mexican production.

“Importers and distributors have been business savvy in shifting volumes to Texas to be in position to take advantage of the time and cost savings for delivery to Midwest and East Coast markets when coming through Texas,” said Bret Erickson, president and CEO of the Texas International Produce Association, in Mission, Tx.

The biggest highway improvements in Mexico is the 143-mile Autopista Durango-Mazatlan, which connects the growing regions of west Mexico to McAllen, Tx.  The new highway opened in 2013.

The surge in Texas crossings has meant more Nogales-area distributors building facilities in Texas, as well as new companies opening up shop near Texas ports.

More infrastructure is needed, handle the bigger loads in South Texas.  There’s also are complaints that produce warehouses there need to become more efficient in having loads ready for trucks that arrive on schedule for pick ups.

Shipments of many Mexican fruits and vegetables through Texas have increased significantly in recent years, but none more than avocados.  Tomatoes are the volume leader, but avocados are now the second-largest commodity in terms of volume.

In 2015, 1.69 billion pounds of Mexican avocados were imported through Texas ports and were the top commodity coming through Pharr in seven months of 2015.

Texas isn’t the only U.S. state benefiting from increased production in Mexico. .

“For the Mexican produce industry, the growth in the import numbers across all states is impressive. With the sustained drought problems in the Western U.S., we expect to see even more growth in Mexico in the coming years, which should mean even more produce will be imported through west Mexico into Nogales,” said Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Nogales-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.

South Texas and Mexican produce – grossing about $2900 to Chicago.

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Imports Through Nogales Top 147,000 Truck Loads

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025Nogales, Ariz. – For the 2014-15 shipping season, a produce association in Nogales has reported a total volume of 5.9 billion pounds of fresh produce crossed the border from Mexico.  That is the equivalent of 147,500 truck loads weighing 40,000 pounds each.

Ten commodities made up 5.28 billion pounds of that total, with tomatoes and watermelon leading the way through Nogales in 2014-15.  About 1.12 billion pounds of tomatoes came through Nogales last season, up from 1.19 billion pounds in 2013-14.  Watermelon imports jumped from 1.03 billion to 1.11 billion pounds.

The next eight commodities, by volume, in 2014-15 were cucumbers, squash, bell peppers, grapes, mangoes, chili peppers, melons and eggplant.

Tomatoes, squash and eggplant were the only top ten commodities to see volume declines from 2013-14 to 2014-15.

More than 50 Mexican-grown fruits and vegetables are imported through Nogales.

By volume, tomatoes remain the number one produce item imported through Nogales, but watermelon imports have risen dramatically in recent years, and in the past season watermelon imports almost caught up to tomatoes, according to The Nogales Produce Import Report 2014-15.

The report offers an analysis and comparison of three seasons of fresh produce’s imports through Nogales in volume as well as value as reported to U.S. Customs.

“It is a tool we have developed to help our members understand the overall picture of fresh produce imports and see what their participation in the industry may be. It also may help them understand the tendencies and detect opportunities to explore,” said Lance Jungmeyer, president of Fresh Produce Association of the Americas in a press release.

FPAA created the report, which also includes data from 2012-13, to help its members understand the overall picture of fresh produce imports, Jungmeyer said in the release.

Mexican produce crossing at Nogales – grossing about $3400 to Chicago.


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Port Upgrades are Completed at Nogales

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DSCN4317The completion of an eight-year construction project at the Mariposa Land Port of Entry, Nogales, AZ, was recently marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The project was designed to increase traffic flow at the border, update facilities and accommodate new Customs and Border Protection inspections procedures.

The port now is able to inspect about 4,000 trucks per day through eight primary commercial booths and 56 secondary commercial inspection bays, and non-commercial travel is expedited through 12 primary booths and 24 secondary personal vehicle inspection spaces,.

Northbound pedestrian processing walkways and inspection facilities were constructed as part of the project along with five booths and two processing facilities for southbound inspections.

The project has doubled the capacity of the port of entry, said Will Brooks, director of field operations for Customs and Border Protection.

“It will help facilitate legitimate travel and trade as well as be an economic gain to the Arizona communities it serves as well as to the nation,” he said.

Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Nogales-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, said the community “got a big jolt in the arm (from) this $220-million project.”  For produce operations, “This is where you want to be,” he said, especially for companies whose distribution base is west of the Mississippi.  The next challenge, he said, is to increase staffing and improve access on the Mexican side of the border.

The project was sorely needed, said Bruce Bracker, chairman of the board of directors of the Greater Nogales-Santa Cruz County Port Authority.  “We started with a port that was designed for 500 trucks a day crossing 1,800 trucks,” he said. With the redesigned port, “We have a facility that’s designed for 4,000 trucks a day.”

Mexican produce crossing the border at Nogales – grossing about $3600 to Chicago.



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Produce Hauling Opportunities Continue to Increase at Nogales, Study Says

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DSCN3849+1Nogales Port Authority statistics show commercial border crossings at the Mariposa Port of Entry have been increasing and likely will continue to do so.

Both the dollar amount of cargo and the number of trucks hauling it have increased “substantially” since 2010, according to a recent news release.  Truck traffic increased 13 percent, growing from 276,877 trucks in 2009 to 311,669 trucks in 2013.

The value of cargo going through the Mariposa crossing is rose from 50 percent to 75 percent. In 2011 an estimated $20 billion to $25 billion in trade goods went through the crossing. The port authority estimates for 2014 it will be $30 billion to $35 billion. Mariposa is particularly popular with produce shippers and produce truckers, according to the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas


For September 2013 through April this year, FPAA officials said 37 percent of all Mexican produce came to the U.S. via Mariposa. For the same period in 2013 Mariposa was the entry port for 34 percent of Mexican produce, according to a news release.

“Enhanced staffing of the port, along with current investments in Mexican infrastructure, will complement the U.S. investment in our port and expedite trade. Trade opportunities are both northbound and southbound. We will continue to see increases in export trade southbound into Mexico,” Nils Urman, representing Nogales Community Development, said in the release from the port authority.

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FPAA Reveals Mexican Produce Crossings Through Nogales, AZ Far Outpacing Those In South Texas

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By Fresh Produce Association of the Americas

Nogales, AZ — With the heart of the 2013-14 Mexican produce season coming to a close, the numbers are in, and they show that Nogales is widening its lead over South Texas.

For the season beginning in September of 2013, and through April of 2014, about 37% of the Mexican fresh fruits and vegetables that were consumed in North America crossed through Nogales. This compares to about 28% of total volume for the crossing region in South Texas, comprised of Pharr and Progresso, Texas.

The 2013 crossing report information, gathered from the USDA website, reflects that Nogales enjoyed a dramatic 17% increase over the prior season versus other ports that have remained flat or realized much smaller increases.  This is due to several factors, including improvements at the new Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, which are decreasing the amount of time a truck waits in line at the border.

For instance, the revamped Mariposa Port of Entry has doubled the number of commercial crossing lanes. To add to the processing efficiency, as part of the 2014 Omnibus Spending Bill, Nogales will be receiving 120 additional Customs Officers to facilitate trade at the expanded port.  The Arizona Department of Transportation has also made significant improvements on the road leading into the U.S. from the port, including widening and adding additional lanes for vehicles to access I-19. 

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Transportation Guidelines Now Available in Spanish

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The North American Produce Transportation Working Group (NAPTWG) announced the posting of a Spanish version of the comprehensive best practices document on their website. The site offers best practice and guidance documents pertaining to the handling and transport of fresh produce to facilitate a seamless, safe, and sustainable global supply-chain. The transportation resources are intended for shippers, receivers and carriers.

“With so many warehouse workers, truckers and others in the industry speaking Spanish, it is vital to have this document translated. It is a very technical document, so it’s crucial that all parties understand this in its entirety,” said Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas in Nogales (FPAA), Arizona and NAPTWG founding member.

“Presenting these documents in Spanish is a milestone for the NAPTWG and our efforts to harmonize the fresh produce supply chain. Translating the site to make it available to a wider audience is a sign of the group’s commitment to strengthening our cross-border relationships for the advancement of the industry,” said Dan Vaché, vice president of supply chain management for United Fresh.

For more information, please visit the NAPTWG website, which now offers documents in Spanish and French.

The North American Produce Transportation Working Group (NAPTWG) is comprised of more than 25 national and regional produce industry associations, transportation service providers, grower/shippers and perishable receivers. In cooperation with United Fresh Produce Association, NAPTWG works to provide best practice resources to those involved in the fresh produce supply chain.

Source: The North American Produce Transportation Working Group

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