Posts Tagged “loads”
California’s Santa Maria district currently leads the state in strawberry volume with nearly 800 truck loads being shipped a week, but the Watsonville district will be catching up – and surpassing Santa Maria very soon. Meanwhile, Salinas Valley vegetables are continuing to increase is volume led by lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower. The San Joaquin Valley in cranking up with everything from stone fruit to vegetables.
The Imperial and Coachella valleys are shipping melons and mixed veggies, plus Coachella table grapes are now being shipped in volume.
Some produce loads, particularly from more northern Calilforna shipping areas, are already exceeding a rate of $9,000 to the East Coast.
Mexican tomatoes are being shipped in volume from Baja peninsula via distribution centers around San Diego. Product ranges from romas to grape, cherry and vine ripe tomatoes.
Looking ahead, warm April temperatures have pushed the California pear crop about 10 days ahead of last year. Early variety pears from the Sacramento River district should get underway around July 2-3, followed by bartletts about July 5.
The projected California almond crop is expected to reach 2 billion pounds this year. This would fall short only to 2011’s 2.03 billion pound crop and is 6% higher than 2012’s output, which was about 1.89 billion pounds. Almonds are the state’s largest agricultural export, with California alone producing 80 percent of the world’s supply.
California almond shipments come from over 810,000 acres.
Salinas vegetables – grossing about $9000 to Boston.
San Joaquin Valley stone fruit – about $6,000 to Chicago.
Only a few weeks ago if someone predicted there would be 21% more USA fresh-market apples in storage than the year before, you’d been considered a little nuts. The same goes are anyone predicted there would be nearly 130 million boxes of apples shipped this season, especially after year’s damage to apple crops in Michigan and New York.
Washington state is on pace to ship 129.6 million boxes this season, shattering the previous record by more than 20 million boxes.
Consider this. Washington could ship 132,245 truckload equivalents of apples this season, which ends this summer. (divide 129.6 million boxes by 1,980 boxes of apples that make up a truck load.)
Washington grower-shippers and officials knew they’d have a big crop, but not this big. Following July hailstorms, the estimate was in the 100 million to 110 million box range.
Apparently the 2012 crop is no fluke. It seems every five to seven years, apple shipments have jumped to another level. In recent years loadings were in the 100- million to 109-million box range. Prior to this there were years where shipments settled into the 80-million box volume.
For the 2013-13 season, observers are already talking about shipments being in the 120-million box range. In other words, loadings hitting 120-million boxes is expected to become the new standard.
Michigan and New York apples
Apple shippers in Michigan and New York are expressing optimism about a big comeback from a disastrous freeze killing 2012-13 season that wiped out about 85% of Michigan’s crop and 52% of New York’s.
Early variety apple shipments are expected to get underway around the third week of August.
Washington state apples – grossing about $6600 to New York City.
California is now shipping an astounding 7 million trays of strawberries per week, which should set another record for loadings by the time the season ends. Most loadings are taking place from the Santa Maria area and the Watsonville district.
The Salinas Valley continues to ship a wide variety of vegetables. Head lettuce loadings are providing the heaviest volume, averaging about 1,500 truckloads per week. However, there’s lots of other items ranging from various types of lettuce, to cauliflower, broccoli, etc.
This week most potato sheds should be hitting full production. Shipments of fresh potatoes from the southern region of the San Joaquin Valley should continue into early July.
There has been a 10%-plus drop in acreage of reds, whites and yellow spuds. More specifically: whites are down 13%; reds, as well as yellows are off 12%. The nationally over produced (thanks primarily to Idaho) russet acreage in Kern County is down a whopping 65 percent.
Russet acreage in Kern County has dropped to about 1,000 acres from a high of 12,000 to 14,000 acres about 20 years ago.
While Kern County shippers are predicting enough transportation with trucks, rail, intermodal and Railex, they say it will be expensive.
Kern County potatoes and carrots – grossing about $5200 to Chicago.
Salinas Valley veggies – about $7300 to New York City.
Talking with a hauler of oversized loads and he was lamenting how rates on the moving the big stuff has dropped in recent weeks. Well, the same holds true for loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, although this is fairly predictable this time of the year when total praoduce volume across the country is much lower than during it’s summer peak.
Still, if you haul perishables, the western states are the place to be doing it — especially with this being the last full week before Christmas.
Washington state apples continue to be shipped in record amounts with about 3,200 truckload equivalents being loaded per week from the Yakima and Wenatchee valleys…..A little further south in Washington’s Columbia Basin and the nearby Umatilla Basin in Oregon, both potatoes and onions are being shipped, although in much lesser volume than with Washington’s apples.
The Columbia and Umatilla basins are loading about 400 truckloads of potatoes and around 750 truckloads of onions per week.
The Yuma district in Arizona is likely your best bet when it comes to winter vegetables. This desert area is shipping Iceberg lettuce, romaine, broccoli and cauliflower, among other items. Between these four veggies, the total truck loads are around 2,500 of per week.
Idaho potatoes are another big mover from the Western states. There are about 1,750 truckload equivalents of spuds being shipped on a weekly basis. The state needs to sell a lot of potatoes to pay for their sponsorship and ads related to the recent Famous Idaho Potato Bowl!
While Michigan and New York took major hits with apple crops this year, there are plenty of apples for hauling through the end of the season, which won’t occur until next summer. In fact, nine percent more apples remain in USA storages, compared to a year ago.
As of December 1st around 103 million bushels of fresh-market apples remained for haulers. This also is nine percent above the five-year average.
Forget the freeze-related losses in Michigan and New York, Washington state is loading the fruit in record numbers. 34-million bushels of red delicious apples alone, remain to be shipped. Beside red delicious, there are more Galas, golden delicious, fujis and granny smiths than last year.
While loads of Florida citrus will be down by five percent this season, the USDA still sees 146 million boxes being shipped. The primary decrease in volume will occur with the early and mid season varieties, which are off seven percent. The USDA issued its first forecast in October and will follow with monthly updates through the end of the season in July.
The USDA makes its first estimate in October of each year and revises it monthly as the crop takes shape until the end of the season in July. Disease and weather factors are cited for the decline in volume.
During the 2011-12 season, Florida moved 146.6 million boxes of oranges.
For Florida specialty fruit, the USDA predicts volume declines with tangelos and tangerines.
As for Florida grapefruit, the Sunshine state should ship around 18 million boxes, down from the forecaset of 20.3 million boxes a month ago.
Florida citrus – grossing about $2400 to New York.
Washington state apples – about $5600 to New York.
Early California navel orange shipments have gotten off to a good start this season and expect to load around 93 million boxes before the season concludes. This would be up from 83 millon cartons from the previous season. Loadings have been steady and are expected to remain this way in the weeks ahead.
Something to keep an eye on is the restrictions California is putting ictions on citrus fruit and plants in Tulare County after two recent detections of Asian citrus psyllid. It is not a full quarantine, but if another psyllid is found — it would be the fourth detection. This would trigger a two-year quarantine. Current restrictions are in place for six months.
The psyllids, which can carry citrus greening disease, feed on citrus trees, sucking the sap and weakening them, but they can carry citrus greening, a bacterial disease. The disease is no threat to humans or animals, but it can stunt and even kill citrus trees. The problem also has been detected in Florida and Texas.
In The California desert, as well as Yuma, AZ, recent warm cauliflower and broccoli shipments well above normal. Loadings are usually brisk this time of year anyway as supplies to buyers for the Christmas holidays are ramping up. A similar situation exist for various types of lettuce in the desert.
California is in between seasons now and strawberry shipments are light. While the Watsonville area has pretty much finished, loadings are now coming out of Ventura and Orange counties. Volume will remain light until after the first of the year.
Entering the lightest season volume wise for produce loads, it’s not uncommon for multiple pick ups and drops to fill out the trailer. Pick ups starting in southern California may extend to the California desert, Yuma and perhaps even Nogales. Changes for the better are occuring at the Arizona, Mexico border that should improve produce crossings in the USA and reduce delays for loadings at the many Nogales warehouses.
The Mariposa port was built in the 1970s, designed to handled 400 trucks crossing into Arizona daily. Over the years changes have increased the truck count to around 1600 to 1800 a day. In the past an estimated 25 percent of the trucks crossing the border into Arizona were delayed because of gridlock on the Mariposa Road (State Route 189), which connects the port to I-19. Numerous stop lights on the state route often contribute to the delays.
In 2009 a $220 million expansion of the port was started and is scheduled for completion in 2014. This should increase traffic capabilities to 4,000 to 5,000 trucks a day crossing the border in Nogales.
Meanwhile, there is light volume of watermelon, honeydew, squash, bell peppers, tomatoes and other items crossing the border from Mexico, it will be another month of so before the volume really improves.
Nogales produce is grossing about $3400 to Chicago, about $5800 to New York.
Strawberry shipments from the Plant City, FL area have been underway for more than a month, but only in very light volume. This is changing as available loads will show significant increases by December 10, and be in big volume around December 15-20. Central Florida also has very light volume with cherry, grape, roma and green tomatoes. The area also is shipping variety of vegetables. However, this overall is seasonally a very light volume period for Florida. Expect multiple pickups to involved with most loads.
You may even have to fill out the trailer from those Florida pick ups with a few pallets of cabbage, greens or broccoli from Southern Georgia. In fact, the whole Eastern seaboard extending into the Northeast and New England doesn’t hold a lot of volume, but sometimes something is better than nothing.
In eastern growing areas of North Carolina, the biggest volume is with sweet potatoes, not necessarily known for paying the best freight rates…..In upstate New York, Orange County is shipping storage onions, while central and western areas are loading cabbage. New York apples were hit pretty hard by freezing weather earlier this year, especially from western and central shipping points. Even the Hudson Valley did not escape the freeze, although it came out better than the rest of the state.
In northern Maine, Aroostoock County is shipping around 150 truck loads of potatoes a week.
Maine potatoes – grossing about $1700 to New York City.
North Carolina sweet potatoes – about $1500 to Atlanta.
Florida vegetables and strawberries – about $2600 to Boston.
The last of fresh cranberry loads are now moving to USA markets, but primarily from Central Wisconsin. While Massachusetts often promises Christmas shipments, it has a checkered history of actually delivering, primarily due to quality issues and the demand from the processing marketing.
Probably the most reliable is The Cranberry Network LLC, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., which markets fruit grown by Tomah, WI-based Habelman Bros. Co., the nation’s largest fresh cranberry grower. It plans on packing and shipping fresh-market cranberries through mid-December.
In Texas, the Winter Garden District located just south of San Antonio is gearing up with cabbage, broccoli and onion shipments. Further south in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, there are grapefruit and orange loads available, as well as a variety of vegetables, not only from the valley, but crossing the border from Mexico.
California has a big clementine crop this season coming out of the San Joaquin Valley. The valley continues to ship a record setting table grape crop, which will be winding down in coming weeks.
In the desert areas of California (Imperial Valley) and Arizona (Yuma), volume is increasing on vegetables. Last winter was very mild and unlike many past winters, picks and loads were not significantly disrupted by weather factors. Odds are this won’t happen in two consecutive years, but we’ll find out in the weeks and months ahead.
Imported Spanish clementines arriving on the East Coast are expected to be 25-30 percent lower than last season.
Importers of Peruvian and Chilean onions expect good movement and good quality with winter approaching. Arrivals are taking place now with onions from Peru, while onions from Chile will start arriving anytime, a 20 percent drop is seen.
Imperial Valley vegetables – grossing about $3800 to Chicago.
Over the past two decades imported fresh fruits and vegetables have increased substantially. Not only does this mean year around availability of many items for consumers, but increased loading opportunities – especially during the off season when these items are not available in the USA. Here’s a look at some produce coming from other countries.
Blueberries from Chile are arriving in the USA and will continue through April. With the arrival of the New Year will be the appearance at USA ports with Chilean table grapes and stone fruit.
There is good movement of Central American cantaloupes, honeydews and Mexican honeydews. Loadings of product from Guatemala should continue into about the second week of January. Many of the Central American imports arrive a Florida ports. Imported cantaloupe are crossing the border into Texas from Mexico. Asparagus is being imported from Mexico and Peru and should increase in volume in December.
Typically in January, volume from Mexico through Nogales, AZ really picks up, led by table grapes, but including a number of other items.
Biggest Change with Imports Coming Soon
The biggest change in decades with imported produce will start occuring a matter of weeks. Historically, south Texas has been a major produce shipping area with its fruits and veggies from the Lower Rio Grande Valley and to a much lesser degree from the Winter Garden District, just south of San Antonio.
However, over the past 20 years a lot has changed in Texas. Today, about 65 percent of the fresh produce moved by Lone Star State shippers is grown in Mexico, with the balance grown in Texas. The state now ranks third in USA produce shipments, having surpassed Arizona. California and Florida rank first and second respectively in fresh produce loads.
While much of the imports from Mexico over the years have crossed the border into the USA from Nogales and Tijuana, a significant amount of this tonnage will be shifting to the McAllen, TX border area. This is due to the 143-mile-long Durango-Mazatlan highway expected to open before the end of the year.
Produce shippers are excited because the new route will mean produce shipments that used to arrive at Nogales and Tijuana and destined from Midwestern and Eastern markets, will no longer have to travel two mountain ranges. It also is expected to reduce freight costs up to a $1,000.