Posts Tagged “Georgia”

An Eastern Produce Shipping Round Up

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VidaliaOnion1Photo:  Courtesy Vidalia® Onion Committee

Shipments of  New Jersey-grown peaches should get underway in early July, a little later than last year.  Good quality and quantity are being predicted, with loadings lasting through mid-September.  More volume is seen this season since some trees planted three to five years ago are coming into production. (more…)

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Produce Loading Opportunities from Both Coasts.

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Potential loads for cherries have taken a hit in the Northwest due to an April frost and heavy May rains.

Estimates are now at 17 million boxes, down from 18.6 million boxes.

Loadings will be adversely affected the most on early varieties like chelans and early bings.

Caution is urged when you are at the loading dock and be on the look out for splitting in cherries and other issues.

Shipments are underway, but expected to be lighter than normal.  Volume should be decent within a couple of weeks for deliveries to retailers for the Fourth of July holiday.  Good volume and much better quality is seen during the month of July.

California cherry shipments are on the downside and this should result in good demand for fruit available in the Northwest, especially with its current light volume.

Oregon Cherries

Hood River cherry shipments in Oregon are expected to start around July 15th and should continue through August.  Good volume and quality are forecast.

California Fruit

California’s Watsonville district should have good strawberry volume for shipments leading up to the Fourth of July holiday.  The same can be said for stone fruit loadings originating out of the San Joaquin Valley.

New Jersey Blueberries

New Jersey’s blueberry shipments should start this week  with good volume heading into the Fourth of July.  Good quality should reduce your chances of claims or rejected loads.

Georgia Sweet Corn

Georgia sweet corn loadings, along with a number of mixed vegetables should make for good loading opportunities.  There’s also Fort Valley peaches and Vidalia onions.  Quality on all these items is now generally good.

South Georgia mixed vegetables – grossing about $3200 to Boston.

San Joaquin Valley stone fruit – grossing about $6900 to Atlanta.

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Haul Produce Update on NC, Georgia, Pennsylvania

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DSCN0152North Carolina is shipping light to moderate amounts of  greens ranging from cilantro to kale, plus cabbage.  These items handle the colder weather better than a lot of other vegetables which would normally be shipping now, but are up to two weeks behind schedule.

In mid June there should be loadings of veggies such as sweet corn, bell peppers, and tomatoes, among others. 

North Carolina continues, pretty much on a year around, to ship sweet potatoes.

Georgia Vegetables

The Georgia Vidalia onion shipping season started out as a disaster due to disease problems caused by weather factors.  Now Mother Nature has since shined on Southeastern Georgia, and suddenly, shippers have more onions than they know what to do with.  The crop is now past the disease problems, quality is good, and shippers are shipping like crazy.  Loadings are expected to continue into August.

Meanwhile, mixed vegetable loadings have got underway, primarily from Southern Georgia.


Mushroom may not be at the top of your list when looking for produce loads, but it continues to grow in popularity.  Pennsylvania is huge when it comes to growing and shipping mushrooms, along with California and Illinois.  However, many states have mushroom growing facilities.

Sales of the 2011-12 U.S. mushroom crop totaled 900 million pounds, up 4 percent from the 2010-11 season.. This amounts to 22,500 truckload equivalents of mushrooms being hauled annually.

Vidalia onions – grossing about $2400 to Chicago.

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As Florida Veggies Wind Down, Other Eastern Areas are Starting

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DSCN0394While total Florida spring produce volume is winding down, some other areas in the East are shipping, or will be soon.

Florida red potato shipments are about two weeks later than usual as a series of winter freezes and heavy spring rains damaged the crop and could cut yields by as much as 50% on the front end of the red potato season.  Shipments got underway around Palatka, Fla. about the second week of May.  South Florida red spud loadings finished up in mid-May around Lake Wales.

Watermelons shipments got off to a shaky start from Southern Florida, but quality has improved and product is coming in steady volume out of the Ft. Meyers and Arcadia areas.  The harvest gradually moves northward over the next few weeks, before shifting to Georgia around June 15-20, about two weeks later than usual.

As Florida  veggie loadings decline, the transition from central Florida to southern Georgia is bringing lighter-than-normal volume on some vegetables. which are behind two weeks or more due to weather.

Georgia bell peppers and cucumbers are still moving in light volume and decent shipments are not expected  until early to mid-June.  Squash and bean shipments from south Georgia are now ending.

Vidalia onions

While it was rough start for Vidalia onion shipments this year, with seed stem problems, better weather is making life easier for both shippers and truckers.

While no official crop estimates have been made, observers see total Vidalia onion loadings at around 4.5 million boxes this season.

Seed stem has adversely about 30% to 40% of Vidalia crops this year.

North Carolina

Sweet corn shipments should get under way in mid-June,   at least two weeks later than normal.   A similar situation exists with lettuce……Currently, cilantro and kale are being shipped.

South Georgia vegetables – grossing about $2600 to New York City.


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Eastern Produce Loadings will Soon Arrive

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While California is the top shipper of peaches, South Carolina and Georgia usually rank second and third, and not necessarily in that order, depending upon the season.

Peach shipments from South Carolina will get started by early June, usually a few days later than nearby Georgia.  However, it won’t be until good shipments come on several weeks later, you’ll have decent loading opporunities.  Peak loadings should come just in time for the Fourth of July.


An unseasonably cold March and disease could very well slash watermelon shipments from Central and South Florida by 50%.


Western Michigan apple shippers apparently dodged the proverbial bullet last week, avoiding significant freeze damage, which would have been a scary repeat of a year ago, when most shipments were wiped out by the cold.  It appears there will be be good apple shipments when movement starts this summer.

Similar to 2012, Michigan growers have 36,500 acres in apple production this season.


Asparagus growers in Southern Ontario have taken a hit as freezing temperatures took their toll on the crop recently.  Frozen asparagus has a clear appearance and spears will droop as it warms up and should not be shipped.  However, these plants will grow more spears.

Avocados from Mexic0Produce truckers this season have already picked up a lot of avocado at ports of entry along the Southern border.  Trucks have delivered nearly a million pounds of Mexican avocados to markets across the USA and Canada.  However, this is only the beginning.  Before the season ends later this year, a billion pounds of Mexican avocadoes will have been hauled to markets a cross North America.


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Updates on Spring Shipments from Florida, Georgia and S.C.

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Here’s a round up of some loading and coming loading opportunities in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, where produce shipments have been slower gaining momentum due to temperatures below normal.


Tomato shipments have pretty much finished in the Immokalee area and have shifted to the Palmetto-Ruskin district.  Loadings were very light at the beginning of May, but now volume is picking up.  Due to weather conditions some disease problems have appeared, so be watchful what you are putting on the truck.

Florida watermelons like it hot and cool weather has put shipments behind schedule.  Watermelon loadings should be hitting good volume by the end of May.

Mixed vegetables also continue to be shipped.


Blueberry shipments continue to increase from Georgia as new acreage comes into production each year.  In fact, the state is now one of the leading shippers of “blues.”  Georgia should have about 70 million pounds of blueberries, which equals about 1,750 truckload equivalents.

Georgia has about 22,000 acres of blueberries.   Shipments, which have been underway a couple of weeks, are now moving into volume.

Like other produce items, a cool spring has delayed Georgia peach shipments.  There should be  around 1.8 to 2 million, 25 pound cartons of peaches for hauling this season.    Good quality and normal volume is predicted.  Shipments should continue into mid-August.

Vidalia onion shipments are lower due to weather and disease, but moderate volume continues from Southeastern Georgia.  Mixed veggies from Central and Southern Georgia also continue.

South Carolina

Despite cold and wet weather prections for South Carolina strawberries, shipments are good.  Strawberry loadings usually end in May, but this year are expected to continue through June.

South Carolina peach loadings also look promising.  Light shipments get underway in a few weeks.  Florida mixed vegetable loads – grossing about $3200 to Chicago.


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National Produce Loading Opportunities

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California cherry shipments kicked off the third week of April and volume is building.  Decent loading opportunities are now just beginning to happen.  Decent volume for deliveries in time for the Memorial Day holiday (May 25-27), with earlier varieties are expected. However, the later  variety bing volume will be substantially less than a year ago.

The San Joaquin Valley southern region including Brooks and Tulare shipments will likely peak May 16-21.  Overall peak shipments should be around  May 25 to June 7.  The bing cherry crop shipments are expected to be off by 30% to 50% from  last year, due in large part to an alternate-bearing cycle.

California has had normal asparagus shipments during April, but loadings are expected lighter than usual now and this will probablycontinue through May.


Like so many areas of the country, a colder than normal spring has Michigan asparagus shipments off to a slow to start.  Significant increases in volume are not expected until the third week of May, two weeks or more behind schedule.


After recovering from an early March  freeze, Florida sweet corn grower-shippers are finally entering peak spring shipments.  Peak loadings normally start around mid-April.


Georgia sweet corn shipments also are going to be a little later due to the cold growing season.  Corn loadings from  Georgia should start in late May, but decent shipments will not be happening until early June. Georgia’s shipments normally end after July 4.

South Georgia vegetables – grossing about $2400 to New York City.

Central Florida vegetables  – about $4000 to Boston.



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Georgia and Michigan Spring Produce Shipments

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Georgia shipments should start from the Fort Valley area in mid-May, about a week or two later than in recent years.  Loadings should be more normal this season, with peak movement occurring in July and continuing until about August 10.   The season then should conclude a week or so later.

Looking at Vidalia onions, too much rain, mostly in March, is resulting in a disease known as seed stems.   This results in bolts, flower stalks and seeds showing up on the plants in the field.   Seed stems cause the core of an onion to become hollow, which results in rapid deterioration of the entire onion.  Most of this is problem is removed at the packing shed with grading, but keep an extra eye out for it when loading.  A significant reduction in loading opportunities is expected because of the problem.

South Carolina peach shipments typically follow Georgia shipments, with only a few days or a week separating when the two areas start and finish.


Michigan ranks third in the nation for asparagus shipments, annually producing 25 million pounds.  The harvest is usually underway by May 1st, but cold weather has the crop behind schedule.  Asparagus should finally be getting underway anytime now.

Michigan also is one of the leading shippers of blueberries., with loading opportunities normally from June to September, with the most volume occurring in July and August.

 “Blues” shipments from Michigan totaled only 72 million pounds in 2011 and 87 million pounds in 2012.  This year, it may return to a more normal loading amount at over 100 million pounds of blueberries.


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Pelvis Bates: Delivers His First Produce Load on a Flatbed

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It’s often observed you can haul onions on practically anything and driver Pelvis Bates of Newberry, SC is proof. met Pelvis several weeks ago as he was unstrapping a flatbed trailer with a load of onions.

He had delivered a load of steel from North Carolina to San Antonio.  From there he deadheaded to south Texas where he picked up the onions around 10 p.m. on a Tuesday and was preparing to have them unloaded on the Atlanta State Farmers Market on the following Thursday afternoon.

His onion load was grossing 71,000 pounds, with the product on pallets on a 48-foot Great Dane flatbed.  He was driving an International Pro Star Premium.

Pelvis drives for  Senn Freight Lines Inc. of Augusta, GA, a company he says is owned by two brothers running 102 trucks.

This was the 45-year-old trucker’s first produce load in his relatively short career in trucking.

“They (shipper) told me to  leave the front and back of the load open (with the rest of the load covered by strap held tarps) so the air could flow through it.  This was to help prevent the onions from going bad,” he said.

Before entering trucking three years ago, Pelvis worked for a screen printing company.  When that business folded, he received a severance pay and used some of the money to enroll in truck driving school.

His first job in trucking was with Swift Transportation pulling dry vans.  He has been with Senn Freight about a year.

As Pelvis was unstrapping his load after the 1,300-mile haul, he says this is the first job he has had pulling a flatbed trailer.

“It is extra work unstringing the straps and and removing the tarps.  When I first started doing this it took me two hours to strap a load.   It now takes me about 45 minutes to an hour.  That’s a lot of strapping.  These tarps weigh 180 pounds each.  If it’s 100 degress out here, that is hard work,” states the 45-year-old.

Pelvis says one of the best things about trucking is it affords the opportunity to see a lot of the country.  Becoming an owner operator has crossed his mind, but he quickly adds, “it’s too expensive.  I don’t see how those guys do it.”






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Potato Loads, Georgia Veggies and Imported Grapes

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USA potato loads will be up eight percent over a year ago when this season ends around August.  The 991,500 acres of spuds is six percent more than athe previous season.  Of course, Idaho shipments easily lead all other states, but there are significant loadings available in Washington state, Oregon, Wisconsin, the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota, among others.

Idaho is shipping about 1750 truckload equivalents of potatoes per week, although a greater percentage is shipped by rail than most other spud production areas….By contrast, Colorado’s San Luis Valley is moving about 1000 loads per week, all by truck.

Southeastern Greens

Central and southern areas of Georgia are loading  collards, kale, mustard and turnip tops for the holidays.  Loads of greens should continue from Georgia into March or April, depending on the weather.  Broccoli also is being shipped.

Chilean Imported Grapes

While Chilean grapes are starting to  arrive in the USA anytime now, it will be late January before good volume and loading opportunities are available at USA ports.   Grapes arriving at such ports as Wilmington, NC; Philadelphia, and Long Beach, CA are shipped throughout the states and into Canada, with volume expected to top last year.

Georgia vegetables – grossing about $2800 to Boston.

Idaho potatoes – about $5400 to New York

Colorado potatoes – about $2000 to San Antonio.


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