Posts Tagged “produce shipments”

Florida Spring Vegetable Shipments Continue to Improve Since 2017; Truck Rates Spike

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Florida’s biggest shipping season of the year is springtime and 2019 apparently is shaping up as a good one. Produce shipments appear on track for a good volume year, rebounding somewhat since the Sunshine State felt the wrath of Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

Meanwhile Florida produce rates are showing a significant increase, ranging from a 19 percent increase to Baltimore to a 34 percent increase to Philadelphia.

During this period of around 6 to 8 weeks Florida spring shipments provide important volume for domestic volume with items ranging from blueberries, to potatoes, cabbage, squash, peaches and watermelon before the summer shipping season gets underway in northern and Midwestern states.

The spring of 2019 in Florida indicates the 2019 season should see higher volume than a year ago. However, this spring is not expected to achieve the shipping volumes of seasons prior to Hurricane Irma. At the same time fall and winter crops in Florida will continue through May. Among these commodities are tomatoes, sweet corn, bell peppers and citrus.

Florida weather has been mostly good for growing produce this year. Meanwhile Florida farmers have 5,200 acres to blueberries; 8,600 acres with cabbage; 12,000 acres with peppers; 28,700 acres with potatoes; 39,000 acres with sweet corn; 22,000 acres with watermelon, and 28,000 acres with tomatoes, making it one of the top 5 produce shipping states.

Florida is about even with California concerning fresh tomato shipments, with both two states combined providing nearly two-thirds of the nation’s shipments.

Although no serious truck shortages have been reported, the increasing vegetable volume is contributing is rate increases that are up around 25 percent in the past week or so.

Florida vegetables – grossing about $3300 to New York City.

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The Changing Face of Spring Produce Shipments out of Florida

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A4The face of Florida spring produce shipments long have been centered around citrus, mixed vegetables and tomatoes.  This will continue to be the case in the foreseeable future, but there are some other products that have entered the picture and could provide substantially larger volume in the future.

Florida peach shipments have started in recent years, and the state is heavily promoting the stone fruit, particularly in April, when it has a shipping window pretty much to itself.  Florida peaches are shipped as imported Chilean peaches are winding down, and before the product is ready in California, Georgia and South Carolina.

Asian vegetables are relatively new to Florida produce production, which are grown across the state and have a growing concentration in the St. Augustine/Hastings area of North Florida.

These items range from Chinese cabbage, to bok choy, beans, bitter melon, Chinese broccoli and many other Asian herbs and vegetables.  As these items become more mainstream, there will be more loading opportunities for produce haulers.

There also has been increasing acreage with sweet potatoes in recent years.  Florida has the first domestic sweet potatoes of the growing season prior to the traditional Louisiana, Mississippi, California and North Carolina sweet potato seasons that start in late summer.

Brussels sprouts are another up-and-coming crop in Florida, particularly in the Hastings area.  Cabbage traditionally has been a staple crop in this area, but growers in the area have recently branched out to other crops, such as broccoli and cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

Florida Tomato Shipments

Grower, shippers such as Oakes Farms Inc. of Immokalee and DiMare Co. of Homestead launched tomato shipments in October and continue into June.  Tomato volume typically has a substainal volume increase starting in the middle of March.

Between March and May, Florida accounts for 55 percent of grape and cherry tomato shipments in the U.S. and 41 percent of the round tomatoes.

On average, Florida supplied 100 percent of temple oranges, 70 percent of sweet corn, and 55 percent of snap beans shipped the U.S. from 2014-17.

Florida produce shipments – grossing about $3200 to New York City.

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What to Look for with Produce Shipments for the Fourth of July

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DSCN9472Wanting to spend the Fourth of July with family and friends instead of on the road?  Here are some of the better opportunities for produce shipments leading up to the celebration of our nation’s 241st celebration of independence.

Avocado Shipments

Avocado loadings will be good, but certainly not great.  When you take Mexico pretty out of the mix, because this time of year shipments are at a seasonal low, you are pretty much left with Southern California, as well as imports from Peru arriving at various ports.  Still there will be 40 to 45 million pounds of avocado across the U.S. being shipped weekly.  We’ll also mention Southern Florida avocado shipments.  Florida’s biggest avocado shipper, Brooks Tropical of Homestead will be having its heaviest loadings in two years.

Blueberry Shipments

New Jersey blueberries will be in peak season, mostly from the Southern part of the state.

If you loaded British Columbia blueberries last season in time for Fourth of July activities that won’t happen this year.  BC  blues are a month later, which is more normal, and shipments won’t get underway until the first week of July.  The region should ship about 170 million pounds this season, lasting into mid September.

Strawberry Shipments

On the West Coast, Mother Nature has been kind to strawberries from the Watsonville area.  Heavy shipments are now occurring and will remain that way through mid July.  There also will be much lighter loadings of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, which will start hitting stride around the Fourth of July.

Salinas Valley berries and vegetables – grossing abut $7900 to New York City.

Watermelon Shipments

Early season watermelons from Texas have probably been the best quality in a few years and that hopefully will continue with maturing fruit coming on in Oklahoma…..Meanwhile, Northern Florida and Georgia are looking to have a decent amount of shipments, although volume has been heavier in some other years.

Central Florida watermelons – grossing about $2800 to New York City.

Vegetable Shipments

Decent supplies of vegetables are coming out of Southern Georgia.  For example, the Moultrie area is loading items ranging from sweet corn to squash, cabbage and green beans……North Carolina vegetable shipments are ranging from bell peppers, hot peppers and eggplant….Moving to California, the Gilroy area has some of the state’s largest shipments of sweet corn…..The roller coast ride for Salinas Valley head lettuce has continued since last spring.  Shipments should be a little more steady now, with volume better than last year time, but still not heavy.

Southern Georgia vegetable shipments – grossing about $2000 to New York City.





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Widespread Panic! SE Blueberries, Peaches, other Crops Clobbered by Freeze

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DSCN9012More details are becoming available on that mid March hard freeze that hit crops from North Carolina to Southern Georgia.  Spring produce shipments from the Southeast will definitely be affected.

Georgia Blueberry Shipments

That March 15-17 freeze could reduce Georgia blueberry shipments by as much as 75 percent this spring, costing the industry $400 million.  At best, there is hope “only” 60 percent of the crop was lost, but it could easily be higher in the south-central areas of Georgia, which is heart of blueberry production.

In this area, covering about 50 miles,  60 to 70 percent of Georgia’s blueberry crop is located.  Some farmers have lost 100% of their early production rabbiteye crop.  Temperatures in the area dropped to as low as 21 degrees for three nights in a row in mid-March.

Georgia Peach Shipments

Georgia peach orchards, primarily located in the Ft. Valley area, may have faired better than blueberries.  Shipments may be reduced by “only” 40 to 50 percent.  The lack of chill hours in middle Georgia had delayed the budding process.  Now those buds are emerging, but growers now have to take a wait and see approach.  Because the peaches were so late, it may have protected the crop.

Still,  later on, there’s what is called the “May drop,” where any damaged peaches could start falling from trees.

Vidalia Onion Shipments

Escaping freeze damage was the Vidalia sweet onion crop.  Shippers are still making normal plans for the official April 12 opening shipping date.  It is described as one of the best crops in years.

Georgia Vegetable Shipments

Freeze damage to Georgia vegetables is all over the board.  Bell peppers and other summer vegetables will be lost, while others veggie are expected to be slowed, but not fatally harmed by the weather.  It will be awhile before accurate information is available…..As for Georgia watermelon shipments, there is believed to be some losses, but it should be relatively minor.

North Carolina Fruit Shipments

There is widespread damage to peaches and blueberry crops, but little specific information is available at this time.

South Carolina Produce Shipments

We’ll have a report on Monday, March 27th regarding South Carolina, which actually ships more peaches than Georgia or North Carolina in a normal season.




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Produce Shipping: from NJ to GA and CA

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DSCN7605Here’s a shipping update that includes New Jersey vegetables to Georgia onions and avocados from California and Mexico.

Cool spring weather in New Jersey has led to a slow start with vegetables, but warmer weather is resulting in progress.  For example, asparagus shipments have been about one-half of what there were this time a year ago – only about 6,000 cartons a week.  Asparagus loadings should continue through June.

Over 100 different New Jersey fruits and vegetables are shipping from spring to fall.  Among the leading items in the weeks and months ahead are lettuces, parsley, leafy and cilantro, in addition to asparagus.  There’s also vegetables ranging from lettuces,  to parsley, leafy greens and cilantro.

How availability of peaches will be is still up in the air due to some adverse growing conditions, but initial reports indicate volume will be down this year.  Likewise, blueberry volume is still too early to predict, although it sounds as if Jersey “blues” may fare better than peaches.

Much of New Jersey’s produce shipments originate from Southern areas of the state such as Cedarville, Hammonton, and Buena.

Vidalia Onion Shipments

Many are calling the Vidalia sweet onion crop the best in decades.  Fresh shipping have been completed and storages in Southeastern Georgia are reported full.  Onion shipments from storage should continue through August.

Vidalia onion shipments – grossing about $2800 to New York City.

Avocado Shipments

In late May, those California growers were sending about 18 million pounds per week to the market. Mexico was around 30 million pounds and expected to drop to closer to 25 million pounds per week for much of June. He expects California production to peak at around 19 million to 20 million pounds and stay in that arena through maybe mid-June.

In July, Calavo has estimated that California’s production will drop into the 15 million-pounds-per-week level and August will see a further decline.

By around May 20, California had shipped close to 40 percent of its estimated 2016 volume of 390 million pounds. Another 100 million pounds should be shipped by the end of June, leaving a very manageable volume for the final few months of the season.

Southern California avocados – grossing about $6700 to New York City.

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Shipping Updates from Several U.S. Areas

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DSCN7305Here are shipping updates from different produce production areas on both the West Coast and the East Coast.

In the summer months, 1,600 trucks pass through the Nogales-Mariposa Port of Entry every day. About 1,500 of these 18-wheelers are carrying produce.

Whatever the cargo, each truck must be inspected for contraband. The produce gets another look for pests and disease that could damage U.S. crops.

Currently, there are heavy watermelon shipments, and good mango volume.   Grapes are crossing the border and will hit peak shipments  entering June and continue for most of the month.

Mexican produce shipments through Nogales – grossing about $2200 to Dallas.

California Desert Produce

Yellow, green and red bell peppers are among produce shipments coming out of the desert of Southern California.  The peppers, as well as other vegetables, plus table grapes are being shipped out of the Coachella Valley for the next several weeks….In the nearby Imperial Valley, there is good volume with onions being loaded.

Oregon Cherry Shipments

While Washington state and California have larger volumes, Oregon also ships a significant amount of cherries.  Loadings get underway with the start of June, particularly from the Dalles, OR area.

Nut Shipments

It is estimated that by 2020 as much as an additional 1.2 to 1.3 billion pounds of walnuts, almonds and pistachios could enter the market—up 35 to 38 percent from the 2015 crop.  The vast majority of shipments will originate from California.

Georgia Peach Shipments

Georgia peach shipments are moving along as expected and should be steady through mid-July.   Georgia should have its largest amount of peach shipments in at least 10 years.

Georgia peaches, blueberries and vegetables – grossing about  $2600 to New York City.

South Carolina Peach Shipments

South Carolina peach shipments kicked off the first week of May with cling peaches that go primarily to processors, but now has moved into the free stone peaches for the fresh market.  The Palmetto State ships about 40 percent of the nation’s peaches.  FYI – palmetto refers to a tree, the sabal palmetto, which also happens to be the state tree, and appears on the state flag.


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NW U.S., and B.C. Should be Excellent for Cherry Hauling

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DSCN2829+1The Northwest United States, including British Columbia, is shaping up to be an excellent season for produce haulers to haul cherries.

With a very early start expected for Northwest cherry shipments, the prognosticators expects to ship 20.7 million 20-pound boxes this season.  Initial cherry shipments from the Northwest should get underway between May 23 and May 25.  A total of 200,000 boxes could be shipped in May alone.

If this estimate holds, Northwest cherry loadings would be  7 percent above last year’s 19.3 million boxes, but short of the record 23.2 million boxes shipped in 2014.  Rainier cherry shipments in 2016 are expected to total 1.7 million 15-pound boxes, about the same as last year.
The total Northwest cherry industry has the potential to ship 11 million boxes in June and another 9 million in July.   Good volume cherry shipments are expected to start in early June, with significant cherry volume by the week of June 15th.  Peak cherry shipments are expected between the middle of June and continue through the middle of July.
Yakima Valley apple shipments – grossing about $6000 to New York City.

B.C. Cherry Shipments

British Columbia cherry shipments will start in early June.  Record shipments are predicted this season with 12 million pounds being estimated.  This volume would be up from the 10.5 million pounds in 2015.   Most British Columbia cherry shipments are destined for markets in Western Canada and the United States.

California Cherry Shipments

California cherry shipments are  now in full throttle from the San Joaquin Valley.  A good, but not record crop is now being shipped and will continue for another couple of weeks.

San Joaquin Valley produce  shipments- grossing about $4400 to Chicago.

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National Shipping Outlook: CA Stone Fruit, Southeastern Produce, and Watermelons

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DSCN7451West coast produce shipments are early this year, while East Coast produce shipments are running late.  Here’s a round up on loading opportunities ranging from California stone fruit, Southeastern produce shipments and watermelons.

Stone Fruit Shipments

California stone fruit shipments have started a few days earlier than normal.  Last year shipments totaled about 35 million cartons.  This year estimates are about 40 million cartons.  Apricot shipments got underway a couple of weeks ago. Good volume is expected in the days leading up to the Memorial weekend May 28-30.

Yellow nectarine shipments get underway around May 5th and yellow peach shipments will start about May 7-10.  Plum loadings kick off about June 1st.

Even at a total of 40 million cartons of the peach, plums and nectarines, California is still 20 percent below the volume it had a decade ago. A lot of fruit acreage was pulled out of the ground and replaced with nuts in first decade of this century.

Florida Produce Shipments

Unlike the early start for many California produce shipments, Florida is the opposite.  In late April, growers were beginning to ship good volume.  However, this was later than the typical mid-April start of larger shipments.  Large volumes of sweet corn shipments are seen for the month of May.  While some shippers had good volume the last week of April, other shippers will not move into good volume until the middle of May.

Florida vegetables shipments  – grossing about $3400 to New York City.

Georgia Sweet Corn Shipments

Georgia sweet corn should start shipping in small amounts from May 20 until early June, before hitting good volume.

Watermelon Shipments

Texas watermelon shipments should get underway the second week of May, while light supplies of Mexican melons continue to cross the border at McAllen.  Heavier Mexican melon volume is crossing the border at Nogales.  About 750 truck loads of Mexican watermelons crossed the border into Nogales last week, while volume continues to increase.  Florida watermelon shipments are miniscule to that at Nogales right now, but is increasing.

Mexican melons, tomatoes and vegetables at Nogales – grossing about $3200 to Chicago.

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A National Produce Shipping Update from 6 Different States

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DSCN0492+1A number of states are just getting underway with spring produce shipments, plus we through in some updates on a few that have been shipping all along.

Cherry Shipments

California cherry shipments have been underway for a week or more out of the San Joaquin Valley.  Good volume is expected next week (May 2-6).  Good loading opportunities will continue for several weeks, before being replaced by shipments out of the Yakima Valley in Washington state.

Asparagus Shipments

Asparagus loadings from three separate regions should be good leading up to Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8th.  California, Washington and Mexico have all been shipping in the second half of April.

California volume remains steady, and Washington state came out of the gate with good supplies.  Baja California and other Mexican shipping areas have been ramping up in April and should have good supplies for about the next six weeks.

Idaho Potato Shipments

Idaho potato shipments are remaining fairly steady from week to week, averaging over 1600 truck load equivalents, primarily out of the Upper Valley and the Twin Falls areas.

Idaho potatoes – grossing about $4000 to Atlanta.

Colorado Potato Shipments

The Rocky Mountain state is the nation’s second largest potato shipper.  The San Luis is averaging over 600 potatoes being shipped weekly.

Colorado potato shipments – grossing about $1500 to Dallas.

Washington Apple Shipments

Washington state is shipping more apples and pears than the rest of the nation combined.   Both apples and pears are being loaded from the Yakima and Wenatchee Valleys.

Washington apples – grossing about $5000 to Orlando.

Georgia Vegetable Shipments

Southern Georgia remains pretty dormant right now, but spring vegetables shipments will be picking up in the next few weeks.  Look for light to moderate volume with everything from beans, to cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, greens and more in early May.  Vidalia onions shipments just started this week.

Georgia vegetables – grossing about $2200 to New York City.

New Jersey Blueberry Shipments

New Jersey blueberry shipments should get underway in mid June.  New Jersey produced 57 million pounds of blueberries in 2014.  Approximately 82 percent of the state’s blueberry acreage is in Atlantic County.

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Produce Shipments Near for MI “Grass,” GA Onions and Mexican Grapes

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DSCN0472+1Produce shipments will be starting soon involving Michigan asparagus, Vidalia onions, and grapes from Mexico.

Michigan asparagus shipments will get underway within the next week or so.  While the Great Lakes State’s asparagus has traditionally been more of a local crop, Chicago has historically been a big market.  Now, loadings are destined to markets in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Tennessee and even to Georgia.  Another change is the crop used to go mainly to processors, but now keeps shifting more to fresh.  For the first time last year Michigan shipped 12 million pounds of “grass” for fresh markets, compared to 10 million pounds for processing.  This year fresh shipments are projected to increase by another five to 10 percent.

Michigan apple shipments – grossing about $3000 to Dallas.

Vidalia Onion Shipments

Concerning more produce shipments, while the Georgia Department of Agriculture has set April 25th as the official date Vidalia onions can be packed and shipped, in truth, every year the sweet onion is shipped prior to this date.  The catch is it cannot be legally shipped under the Vidalia name prior to the official starting date.  Shipping prior to official date increases the chances of the onions being “hot” and doesn’t help the image of the brand.  Much of that is because early onion pungency levels are too high, making them taste hot instead of sweet.

Vidalia onions can only be grown in parts of a 20-county area in the southeastern part of Georgia.  Last season, farmers harvested 268 million pounds of Vidalia onions from 11,200 acres. Value of production for last year’s crop exceeded $120 million.

Southern Georgia produce shipments – greens, carrots – grossing about $2200 to New York City.

Mexican Grape Shipments

As most Mexican vegetables crossing the U.S. border at Nogales wind down this time of year, an exception is grapes.  The harvest in Mexico begins the first week of May.  Mexican grape shipments soon follow, with volume increasing as Memorial Day approaches.  Peak Mexican grape shipments will occur during June, then quickly wind down in early July.  Estimates are sketchy right now, but early indications are that a  good, but not record crop will be available for hauling.

Mexican melons, mangoes, veggies through Nogales – grossing about $3200 to Chicago.

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