Posts Tagged “produce shipping”

Three Key Takeaways of the Sanitary Transportation of Food Rule

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DSCN9011By Robinson Fresh

Do you ship human food? What about perishable animal food? If so, the Sanitary Transportation of Food Rule, which is a part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), will take effect on April 1 and impact many in our industry.

We have received a variety of questions around this ruling and what shippers and carriers need to do to prepare. In this blog post, Chris McLoughlin, risk manager at C.H. Robinson, and I will cover what you need to know.

Three key takeaways:

  1. Which products are subject to the rule? The rule applies to items that are shipped open to the air, temperature controlled for safety, or shipped in bulk trailers or tankers via truck or rail. The emphasis here is on food shipped for safety, not quality. Many people think produce is covered under the temperature controlled rule, but most produce is not—with a few exceptions, it’s more commonly only subject to the open container portion of the rule. This distinction is important, as the purpose is not to create undue burden or throw away product which is safe for human or animal consumption.
  2. When does the rule go into effect? There are different implementation dates for small and large carriers and small and large shippers. However, most shippers expect all carriers and transportation providers, regardless of size, to fully comply with the rule at the earliest date of April 2017.
  3. How does the Sanitary Transportation of Food rule connect to FSMA? The Sanitary Transportation of Food rule is only one rule of several under FSMA. Each of the rules stands on its own. The language, definitions, and applicability of each rule varies. You should take time to understand the scope of each rule. Especially  if you’re in the produce world, you may find that your product is exempt from one rule, but included in another.

I want to reiterate that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated this rule is not intended to impose significant new requirements in the industry—in fact, the industry is already completing steps within the rule.  The rule is simply a restatement or formal recognition of industry best practices and the requirement to document these processes.

Impact on Produce Shipping

When it comes to the produce world, it’s important to think about the role each company plays in the movement of goods under this rule. Are you the one calling the shots for how the product is delivered? (Often, the person or organization determining needs is a retailer or wholesaler.) If you are the one tendering the load, you are considered the “shipper” under this rule and are responsible for defining specific obligations.

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Legion Logistics Earns #513 on The Inc. 5000 List

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DSCN7467by Legion Logistics, LLC

Florence, KY – Legion Logistics, one of the region’s fastest growing third-party logistics providers, announced recently that they placed #513 on the Inc. 5000 list.  This is the third straight year Legion has appeared on the Inc. 5000 list, and this year, they are the #1 company for growth in both Kentucky and the Cincinnati Region.

“I remember counting down the days until we could be eligible to be considered for the Inc. 5000 list.” Antony Coutsoftides, CEO and co-founder, says of this honor, “But now we have been ranked three years in a row and I continue to dream of ways we can improve our ranking in the nation and within our industry.”

The Inc. 500 is an annual list that began in 1982 ranking private companies that are booking the biggest sales growth throughout the year in their region. For 34 years, the Inc. 5000 list, an expansion of the Inc. 500, has been introducing and honoring the fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S. and Legion has made the list three years in a row. This year, the magazine will  formally congratulate all of the honorees at the Inc. 5000 Conference and Awards Ceremony in San Antonio, Texas in October.

Legion Logistics, LLC is a service disabled veteran-owned third-party logistics provider (3PL) based in Florence, Kentucky. What all those hyphens don’t tell you is that Legion is committed to exceptional customer service, fair dealings with trucking companies and an outstanding, veteran-friendly work environment. Founded in 2009, the Legion specializes in full truckload, less-than-truckload, government freight, hazardous materials and produce shipping. Learn more at

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Produce Shipping Round Up from CA to GA

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DSCN7463Here’s a produce shipping outlook from around the nation.  We’ll cover everything from California tomatoes, strawberries and melons, to watermelon shipments in the Eastern half of the U.S.

California tomato shipments are gaining steam from the San Joaquin Valley to the southern coastal area.

For example, tomato loadings from Firebaugh, CA got underway June 1st and within two weeks all the tomato shippers in the San Joaquin Valley were moving product.

If the weather cooperates, the valley could be shipping tomatoes through Halloween.

On the Southern California coastline, pole tomato shipments got underway around June e13th from the Oceanside area.  Shipments of roma tomatoes will start July 1.  Round tomato volumes will likely peak from mid-August through October, with roma peak shipments taking place from July through September.

Good volume with cherry tomatoes should be shipped this summer from Baja, California.  However it will be the middle of October before there are rounds and vine-ripes from the region.

California Strawberry Shipments

Heavy shipments of strawberries from the Salinas-Watsonville area are taking place.  On average, about 950 truck loads of strawberries are being shipped weekly.  The Santa Maria district is shipping roughly one-half the volume of Salinas-Watsonville.

Watsonville strawberries and Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $7200 to New York City.

Cantaloupe Shipments

It’s getting awfully hot in the desert region, but cantaloupe shipments are still on track.  About 825 truck loads of cantaloupe are being loaded weekly from the Imperial Valley, as well as the Yuma area and central Arizona.

Watermelon Shipments

Georgia is easily leading the pack of states currently shipping watermelons.  Heavy volume should continue through the Fourth of July before a seasonal decline begins.  Meanwhile, very light volume has started with South Carolina watermelon shipments.  North Carolina gets underway the first week of July.  Another big state for watermelons is Missouri.  Watermelon shipments from the boot heel of Missouri get start in mid July.

Southern Georgian watermelons and vegetables – grossing about $2600 to New York City.

Mexican Mangoes

Imported Mexico mango volumes have been trailing last year, but that is changing.  Record shipments from Mexico are now occurring.  For example, during the week of June 6th, 3.6 million cartons of mangoes were shipped.  This was 6 percent more than projected.


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National Shipping Roundup from Onions to Texas Fruit and Western Veggies

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020Here’s a national produce shipping round up ranging from both domestic and imported onions, to South Texas and imported Mexican items, to Western U.S. vegetable shipments.

Caution is recommended for hauling onions out of the Northwest, including Idaho, Oregon and Washington.  Weather problems earlier in the year are being blamed.

Meanwhile, quality apparently is much better for onion shipments out of Utah and Colorado.  Loadings involve red, white and yellow storage onions.  Northeast Colorado onion shipments will continue  through the end of the year and Utah onion shipments will be available into February.

Imported Peruvian sweet onions continues, with the heaviest volume being available through Thanksgiving.  Lighter volume imports of onions from Peru will continue into February.

Western Idaho and Malheur County, Oregon onions  – grossing about $3400 to Dallas.

Columbia Basin, Washington, potatoes and onions – grossing about $4200 to Chicago.

South Texas Produce Shipments

Texas grapefruit shipments and Texas orange shipments from the Lower Rio Grande Valley got underway a couple of weeks ago and are moving into steady volume.  Total volume this season is expected to be about normal.  There also are numerous items from Mexico crossing the border into Pharr, TX.  There’s over 600 truck loads of avocados and nearly 400 truck loads of limes crossing the border weekly.  There ‘s also lesser amounts of lemons and other items.

South Texas citrus and imported Mexican tropical fruit – grossing about $2500 to Chicago, $3900 to New York City.


The trendy vegetable item kale will continue to be shipped from the Salinas Valley, while loadings out of Yuma, AZ will start in mid November, along with several other desert vegetable shipments such as lettuce.

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Colorado Spud Loadings are Steady; Desert Veggies Improve with Weather

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DSCN4341Here are produce shipping updates for Colorado potatoes, as well as for vegetables from the California and Arizona desert areas.

Colorado potato shipments are steady and averaging about 800 truck loads per week.   Potato acreage in the  San Luis Valley is up 8 percent in 2014 to 53,700 over 2013’s 49,700 acres.

San Luis Valley potato shipment totals through December 2014 are very similar to the previous year, with 10,579 loads having gone out with the end of the year 2014 compared to 10,529 in 2013. Truck shipments of fresh were at 2,654, up from 2,614 the previous year.

Colorado potato shipments – grossing about $2200 to Chicago.

Desert Vegetable Shipments

A couple of weeks of above-normal temperatures since the middle of January have helped bring on vegetables supplies – and shipments – in the western desert areas  of California and Arizona.  In fact this week plenty of sunshine and highs mostly in the lower 70s are predicted.

In early- to mid-January, there were very light supplies of Iceberg lettuce as well as most other vegetables.  But high temperatures in the 70s in Yuma, AZ, and California’s Imperial Valley brought on fields more quickly and increased shipments.

However, it is still the middle of winter with almost three months  of weather yet to play out.   Although the harvest is ahead-of-schedule there is the potential for supply and shipping gaps if the weather cools off and growing time takes longer.

Desert vegetables – grossing about $7000 to New York City.



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