Posts Tagged “Ontario”

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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Ontario Food Terminal has Wide Distribution Area

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Over the years is seems there have been fewer problems with unfair claims and rejected loads at Ontario compared to Montreal.

The Ontario Food Terminal  averages buying and selling about a 1 million tons of produce and horticultural products a year, which equates to an average of 5.4 million pounds of fruits, produce and horticultural products distributed daily.

Based in Toronto, it is the fourth largest wholesale produce distribution center in North America behind New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

The heaviest truck traffic at the terminal takes place on Sunday is the busiest receiving day for the terminal.  However, it is a small operation compared to Hunts Point Terminal Market in New York, with Ontario having roughly 600-850 pallets and an average of 25 tractor-trailer loads in a 12-hour period.

 The terminal has 21 warehouse tenants, 5,000 registered buyers and the farmers market area includes 550 stalls. The registered buyers are able to buy fruits and vegetables  and floral products on a wholesale basis.  These buyers then sell their goods to  independent and chain supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, foodservice  institutions among others.

Terminal wholesalers distribute product by truck throughout Ontario and as far east as the Maritime Provinces.  Ontario products also are shipped to the USA from the “U” shaped terminal tha has 21 market wholesale houses.

Since 1954, the Ontario Food Terminal has been located in the Toronto district of Etobicoke.  There is approximately 100,000 square feet of storage available in the coolers. Some of the new portions of the building have racking systems available in the cold-storage rooms.

The 40 acre Toronto site is located at 165 the Queensway between Park Lawn Road and Stephen Drive in South Etobicoke. If you are driving from the east, take the South Kingsway exit from the Westbound Gardiner Expressway to the Westbound Queensway.

If you are driving from the West, take the Eastbound Q.E.W. to the Park Lawn Road Exit and proceed North to the Queensway.

Hours of operation:

Mondays to Fridays:
4:00 am to 2:00 pm

6:00 am to 11:00 am

 The terminal’s website does not address the issues of unloading hours for truckers, or if there are gate fees, or unloading charges.

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New Canadian Apple Variety Available in Vancouver and Kelowna

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Vancouver, British Columbia – Apple lovers will have a new variety to sink their teeth into that is set to debut in select stores this fall.   It’s named the Salish™.

“This is a delicious example of government and industry working together to deliver new market opportunities to our farmers,” said MP Cannan. “When you taste the Salish™ apple, you are sampling the sweet rewards of many years of research and investments in innovation that will pay off for the farmers that grow this tasty achievement.”

The Salish™ is tangy, juicy and very crisp. It is medium-sized, with a pinkish red blush over a yellow background colour. The apple has characteristics that appeal not only to consumers, with its high quality appearance, texture and flavour, but also those that Canadian apple growers seek, such as its late harvest date, good storage and shelf life, high yields and good growth habits for high-density orchards.

“With already 15 orchardists committed to growing the Salish™, we look forward to having increased production year after year,” stated John Kingsmill, General Manager & CEO of PICO. “This delightful apple holds the promise of being one of the best.”


About the Salish™

The Salish™ is named for the Canadian Interior language of Thompson, Okanagan-Colville, and Shuswap.   AAFC researchers at the Pacific Agri-Food Centre (PARC) in Summerland led the Salish’s™ development and worked closely with the Okanagan Plant Improvement Corporation (PICO) to test it with growers.

The Salish™ consistently scored very well in formal sensory panels, thanks to its tangy, juicy flavour and crisp texture. In a joint project with AAFC’s breeding program and PICO, PARC’s sensory program ran additional consumer tests at the UBC Apple Festival. The Salish™ generated a lot of positive response, with festival goers returning to ask for it specifically. A few specialty stores in the Vancouver area have also created a loyal following for the apple.

Limited quantities of the Salish™ will be available for sale at select stores in Greater Vancouver and Kelowna this fall. (See list of retailers at

Apple Production in British Columbia

In 2011, BC produced about 24 percent of the apples grown in Canada and was the third largest producer after Ontario and Quebec. The total marketed production from BC in 2011 was 96,614 metric tons with a farm gate value of C$36.7 million. This represented about 26percent of the national farm gate value of apples in 2011 (Statistics Canada).

About 60percent of all planted land in BC orchards is planted with apple trees. Nearly 92 percent of the apple crop is sold fresh, with British Columbians consuming around 25% of the apples grown in BC.   The rest of the crop is processed, with apple juice being the most popular product.

Of the $14.4 million in fresh apples exported from BC, 74 percent went to the U.S.

Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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Canadian Vegetable Shipments are Starting

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Vegetable shipments out of Ontario province are gearing up.  Sweet corn gets underway the first half of July, quickly followed by bell peppers, zucchini, cabbage, beets and tomatoes.

Ontario’s apple shipments will be pretty much non existent this season due a devastating April freeze.  Nearly half of the asparagus also was wiped out.

Some of the major vegetables shippers are located around Windham Centre, Scotland, Bradford and Oakland Ontario.  Many shipments to the USA are to mid-western markets.

In Quebec province, apples were hit by the same storm that visited Ontario, but losses were not as severe.  The province is now shipping vegetables ranging from celery, to cauliflower and broccoli.

While a majority of the shipments remain regional in Canadian, there are loads moving to New England and as far south as New York.  The Canadian vegetables are made even more attractive to some Northeastern USA receivers because of the savings over freight rates from the West Coast



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It is Supply and Demand for Trucks and Produce

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Refrigerated equipment is in tight supply in a number of areas around the country, but it could be much worse.   Less than bumper sized crops in several areas is easing some of the pressure for trucks.   California’s San Joaquin Valley stone fruit crop is down from a year ago.  Central and southern Georgia fruits and vegetables were hit hard by inclement weather during the spring.  Watermelons in Texas and some parts of the east coast were also victims of bad weather.

The new apple season will be launched in only a few weeks and crops were decimated in Michigan, Ontario and parts of New York state.

Thus, when folks complain about California rates hitting $6,000 to the Mid-west and $9,000 to the East Coast, with a little more favorable weather conditions in various parts of the USA and Canada, demand for refrigerated equipment could have been worse – resulting in even higher rates on produce hauls.  Still, there comes a point when rates reach a certain point, that retail prices for fruits and vegetables rise, and at a certain there is consumer resistance to high the costs.

Whether talking availablity of equipment, volume of fruits and vegetables, as well as the quality of the product — and let’s not forget the availability of professional drivers – many factors can result in the final equasion for supply and demand….If and when this economy ever turns around, produce shipments will be receiving a lot more competition as many drivers will choose to haul other things, which is not as demanding and risky as loads of fresh produce.

Southern Californa citrus and fruit – grossing about $9000 to Boston, sometimes more.

Salinas Valley vegetables and berries – about $6200 to Chicago.


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Washington State Apple Loadings Expected to be Brisk

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As more information becomes available on the prospects for the nation’s apple shipments, which get underway in August for the 2012-13 shipping season, it’s becoming apparent there should be record setting loading opportunities for apple haulers out of Washington state.

The reasons are two-fold.  First, Washington is on course to pick, pack and ship 120 million boxes of apples in the upcoming season, which would be nearly 7 million more boxes than the season which will close in the coming weeks.  Secondly, an April freeze clobbered upcoming crops in Michigan, parts of New York state and in Ontario.  This means apple buyers who normally source the fruit from these areas will be relying on Washington state more than ever.  In a normal year, Washington state accounts for about 60 percent of the USA’s apple shipments.

Apple volume is expected to remain more normal for the upcoming season from the Mid Atlantic states, including Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virgina, as well as from the New England states.  This holds true as well for New York’s Hudson and Champlian valleys.  However, central and western New York apple shippers were not near as lucky during the April freeze.

Washington state apples – grossing about $6200 to Orlando.

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Steady Apple Shipments Set Through Summer

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With over 30 million bushels of apples in the USA remaining in storages to be shipped, steady loading opportunties through much of the summer are expected, especially from Washington state.  There is one percent more fruit remaining in storages than last year’s large crop, and three percent more tonnage remaining compared to the five-year average.

The Yakima and Wenatchee valleys of Washington state are averaging about 2500 truckload equivalents of apple shipments a week, although this amount includes some shipments by rail….By contrast, Michigan apple loadings are amounting to around 125 truck loads per week….New York state apple shipments are similar, but declining as the season winds down.

Washington apples – grossing about $6200 to Atlanta.

Michigan apples – about $2800 to Oklahoma City.

FREEZE UPDATE — I reported  on May 9 a major freeze hitting Ontario and Michigan apple shipping areas, as well as New York and possibly Pennsylvania.  This will affect your loading opportunities starting in late July and August and continue for the 2012-13 apple shipping season.

It will be June, if not July in some instances, before it is known how much next season’s apple shipments will be hurt, but it will be substantial.  The damage to Ontario’s 16,000 acres of orchards has been termed “catastrophic,” a pretty harsh term for normally optimtistic produce shippers.  It also known there is significant damage to apples in Michigan and upstate New York.




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Great Lakes Apple Shipments Will be Hit

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Postmedia News is reporting a catastrophic freeze has wiped out about 80 per

cent of Ontario’s apple crop and has the province’s fruit industry looking at losses already estimated at more than $100 million.

“This is the worst disaster fruit growers have ever, ever experienced,” orchard owner Keith Wright said May 4.

“We’ve been here for generations and I’ve never heard of this happening before across the province. This is unheard of where all fruit growing areas in basically the Great Lakes area, in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York State, Ontario, are all basically wiped out. It’s unheard of,” the Harrow, Ont.-area grower said.

If apple shipments from the Great Lakes region falls by 80 percent there is bound to be more demand and brisk loadings of Washington state apples once the new season kicks off in July and August.

About 125 truckloads of Michigan apples are being shipped a week from storages and are grossing about $3200 to Dallas.


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Truckload of Blueberries Ripped Off

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Here’s a word of caution to produce haulers that even the most perishables of Blueberry : Closeup of fresh blueberries with green leaf.perishable are not necessarily safe from thieves.  Whoever stole this load of berries must have had a quick outlet to sell it, or are very, very stupid.

A load of blackberries was stolen March 17 in Milton, Ontario from C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.

The blackberries were shipped from Laredo, Texas and were packed in 6-ounce clamshells under the Berry Lovers label,  according to a press release  from the Ottawa, Ontario-based Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corp (DRC).  The DRC mediates disputes between parties in the Canadian produce industry.

The Trading Assistance office of the DRC is helping C.H. Robinson notify industry members about the theft.

Those with information can contact the Halton Regional Police Service, at (905) 825-4747, ext. 5155; or Diego Lettari in C.H. Robinson’s Montreal office, at (514) 381-7404.

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