Posts Tagged “Salinas Valley vegetables”

Thanksgiving Produce Shipments Should be Heavy the Next Two Weeks

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DSCN7317Thanksgiving is early this year (November 23rd) and there should be heavy produce shipments the weeks of November 6th and November 13th as retailers across American stock their shelves for this popular holiday.   Among the most popular items are potatoes, onions, celery, and sweet potatoes.

Idaho rail loadings for delivery to the East Coast will have to be made in early November to arrive in time for Thanksgiving distribution.  Truck shipments should be particularly heavy the next two weeks.  Idaho truck supplies, as well as many other areas around the country appear to be particularly tight, if not in short supply.

Potato shipments are strong with Idaho shipping around 1750 truck load equivalents weekly.  You will probably be hauling more cartons of potatoes and fewer consumer bags because Idaho has more larger sized spuds this year than normal.

While overall  Idaho potato shipments could be down a little this season, potato haulers need to exercise some caution.  As much as 20 percent of the Idaho crop was harvested recently following several nights of freezes.  This very well could result in a higher cull rate for potatoes, which hopefully will remove poor quality product before it is loaded on your truck.

Onion Shipments

Overall, fewer onion shipments are seen, particular out of the west this season.  For example, in the Treasure Valley of Idaho-eastern Oregon volume could be off 20 to 30 percent.  It has been loading about 700 truck loads of onions per week.

Celery, and sweet potatoes

The Salinas Valley, while approaching the end of the season, is still shipping about over 600 loads of celery a week, as well as items ranging from broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce….North Carolina sweet potato shipments are seasonally strong, particularly by volume leader North Carolina, with much fewer shipments originating from California, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Idaho potato shipments – grossing about $5400 to New York City.

Malheur County Oregon onions – grossing about $5000 to Atlanta.

Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing bout $7400 to New York City.




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Summertime Shipping Update for Garlic, Watermelons and Walla Walla Onions

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It’s summertime in overdrive and here are some loading opportunities you might not have thought of including garlic, watermelons and sweet onions.

Watermelon Shipments

Nationally summertime watermelon shipments have been decent so far this season, with heavy volume available for shipments arriving at destinations in time for the Fourth of July holiday.  Strong shipments will continue in the weeks ahead as several states are just starting, or will be soon getting underway.

Georgia is leading U.S. shipments averaging around 5,000 truck loads per week.  Volume will start declining in a few weeks.  However, South Carolina’s watermelons shipment are underway and increasing.  Carolina moved nearly 400 truck loads in the past week, but volume will be higher with each passing week.

Texas is in a similar situation, particularly in the eastern part of the state.  It shipped about 400 truck loads last week, but volume is rapidly picking up….While the desert areas of California are winding down with watermelon loadings, the San Joaquin Valley, particularly in the southern area around Bakersfield, is building.  Around 500 truck loads were shipped a week ago.

Onion Shipments

Sweet onions shipments out of Walla Walla, WA started in mid June and this season there should be more normal conditions in terms of volume and and timing, at least compared to 2016.

Last year, Walla Walla sweet onions had an early start and finish to the season

Garlic Shipments

California garlic shipments got underway in mid June and will continue until mid September.  Christopher Ranch of Gilroy, CA, as well as other operations were off in volume 15 to 20 percent last year.  However, shipments this year are expected to be more normal with fewer quality issues.

Christopher Ranch is celebrating its family owned farming heritage with colorful, new boxes for its 2 lb. and 3 lb. fresh garlic bags. The new box is in full color using custom artwork representing a California garlic field.

It is hoped by the shipper that the new  look will make it easy for consumers to find fresh California Heirloom Garlic in the midst of all the other shipping boxes.

The company has the only garlic in the U.S. commercially grown from heirloom seed, the same seed discovered by Don Christopher in the 1960’s.

Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $5400 to Chicago.




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California Produce Freight Rates Not Expected to Set Any Records

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063California spring produce shipments are gradually building in volume as we look at Salinas vegetables and some San Joaquin Valley stone fruit.  But overall, this spring and summer in California doesn’t appear to be shaping up as any barn burner when it comes to volume and loading opportunities.  Between the continuing drought in the state and only moderate volume with many fruits and vegetables, I don’t see produce freight rates setting any records.

Salinas Valley vegetables have had some ups and down in volume recently due to weather, but head lettuce and other items should be significantly increasing as we get closer to May.

Broccoli and cauliflower shipments  are expected to fluctuate over the next several weeks.

Meanwhile, Huron lettuce shipments from the Westside district of the San Joaquin Valley have been lighter than normal this season as the one-month spring shipping season comes to a conclusion.

California Cherry Shipments

The California cherry harvest is shaping up to be a light crop this year

California initial loadings should start around Easter in the Arvin district and peak cherry shipments should occur from mid-May into the first week of June, with product becoming available from the San Joaquin Valley further north in areas such Fresno and Reedley.

Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $7000 to New York City.

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Some Not-So-Obvious California Produce Items Available for Hauling

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IMG_7042While there are the more obvious fresh produce loads available out of California this time of year such as Salinas Valley vegetables and San Joaquin Valley grapes, the state has significant volume with other items ranging from Asian pears to apples,  kiwifruit , persimmons, and strawberries.

Asian Pears

Asian pear loadings got underwa y in late July from the Central San Joaquin Valley and should be available into October, with normal volume expected.


Early variety apple shipments started in mid July and volume should total abouit 4.8 million boxes for the season, which will wind down this month.  Last year California loaded 7.1 million boxes of apples.  Volume this season is about 32 percent bellow the five-year average.   Primavera Marketing Inc. of Stockton and Bidart Bros. Marketing of Bakersfield account for about 90 percent of California’s apple shipments.


California expects to load about 7.5 million  of kiwi in 7-pound trays this season.  Fruit originating out of Butt County in northern California will be similar to a year ago, as will production coming out of southern areas of the San Joaquin Valley.  Kiwi shipments should continue though May 2014.


San Joaquin Valley persimmons is more of a speciality item with small volume compared to many California produce items, with shipments from October through Thanksgiving.  It can help fill a load and is compatable for shipments with items ranging from grapes, to stone fruit, strawberries and even artichokes.


Strawberry shipments have been declining as loadings shift from the Watsonville District southward to the Santa Maria area and Ventura County.  Quality hasn’t necessarily been awful this season, but at times it also has left a lot be desired.


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Will California Loadings of Fruits and Vegetables be as Heavy this Fall?

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DSCN0392High temperatures brought on most California produce shipments early and in good volumes this summer.  Now, folks are wondering if heavy early loadings will make for lighter than usual loading opportunities in the fall.

As an example, grape shipments are mostly after Labor Day.  If the estimated 106.9 million boxes is realized, it will exceed last year’s shipments by more than 6 million boxes.

The month of August has seen record shipments for grapes from California, posting week-ending totals of over 4 million boxes three weeks in a row!  The crop is being shipped  at what could be a record-setting pace at  more than 28 million boxes of California table grapes through August  23rd. The 2013 year-to-date total is 3 percent ahead of last year, which saw a record-high season total volume.


Growers and shippers are expecting larger fruit size, but only slightly smaller California citrus shipments than last year when the new navel orange crop takes over for valencias, which are expected to end in October.  The navel orange industry packed 90 million 40-pound cartons for 2012-13.


Another example of early shipments is with kiwifruit out of the San Joaquin Valley.  Kiwi shipments will get underway in mid-October.

Salinas Valley Broccoli

If you are loading Salinas Valley broccoli,  there’s been a small amount of  hollow core and other quality issues related to the rapid growth of broccoli plants.  Again, watch for quality issues if you are planning to haul broccoli.  Shipments of broccoli and other vegetables from Salinas will begin declining in volume during September, before switching to the Yuma and Imperial Valley around Thanksgiving.

Salinas Valley vegetables and berries – grossing about $7300 to New York City.

San Joaquin Valley grapes, stone fruit and vegetables, about $5000 to Chicago.

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Some of Your Best Bets with Produce Hauls for Labor Day

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IMG_6513Labor Day (September 2nd)  produce shipments should see fair to good volume with watermelons, sweet corn, avocados and table grapes, among others.

Sweet corn loadings are originating from New York state, Delaware, Virginia, Michigan, Colorado and even from Canada.  Don’t expect any barn busting volume on corn.  Like many produce items this year, cool weather, rain and late planting have adversely affected volume, if not quality in some instances.

Watermelon Shipments

Watermelon shipments have followed a similar shipping path to corn.  Watermelon volume has been lower than normal since July.  For example, shipments have been off as much as 30 percent from Indiana, but has since improved some.

There also should be moderate shipments for Labor Day of watermelons from Missouri’s bootheal and parts of North Carolina.  West Texas has light watermelons shipments in July, but have rebound with better volume for Labor Day.

California Grapes

As about any time of the year, California will be providing the best loading opportunities since it accounts for about 50 percent of the nation’s produce shipments.  Salinas Valley vegetables are moving in moderate to good volume, plus the San Joaquin Valley has its seasonal mix of veggies, stone fruit, melons and grapes.

During the 2012 season, California harvested 100.1 million 19-pound box equivalents of table grapes.  The estimate for this season, if holds, will mean another year for record grape shipments, with 106.9 million boxes predicted.

Bootheal of Missouri watermelons – grossing about $1800 to Atlanta.

North Carolina watermelson – $3000 to New York City.

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California Update on Shipments of Avocados, Tomatoes, etc.

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DSCN1781California avocado shipments should hit about 12,500 truckloads equivalents this year, up about 1,000 truck loads from 2012.   Because of the larger crop,  California avocado loadings are expected to run later than last year, continuing at peak volume through August and into September, with shipments running into November.

 About  2,050 truckloads of fruit is expected to be hauled from September through November.

Weekly avocado shipments in the USA this year have reached as high as 1,000 truckloads.  Loadings take place mostly in Southern California.

California tomato shipments

California mature green tomato shipments out of the San Joaquin Valley remain good, but are lighter than when loadings got underway in mid- to late June.  That steady, but lighter volume should continue through the end of the year.

Around the Oceaside area of Southern California, there are loadings of cherry tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and romas in addition to the vine ripened tomatoes.

Mature greens are typically sold to foodservice operators for their use with burgers or other dishes, or repackers, who package them in multiples, complete the ripening process and shipped to a variety of customers. Vine-ripe tomatoes are often shipped directly to the retailers.

Meanwhile volume shipments of Salinas Valley vegetables and San Joaquin Valley produce loadings of vegetables, stone fruit, grapes and melons continue.

Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $5300 to Chicago.

Southern California avocados – grossing about $7500 to New York City.

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Salinas Valley Produce Shipments not Stellar, But Still Beats Most Areas

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DSCN1352The Salinas Valley remains one of the most active areas for produce shipments in the nation, not to mention the world.  In the adjacent Watsonville district, strawberry shipments are averaging nearly 1,000 truck loads per week.  This doesn’t include other berries and artichokes from this area.

California strawberry shippers are optimistic about a strong fall, unless of course, something like fall rains put a damper on loadings.  Shipments to date are on track for yet another record-volume year.  In 2012, California shipper over  190 million trays of strawberries.

Salinas Vegetable Shipments

While overall Salinas Valley vegetable shipments have been okay, it sure hasn’t been a “barn burning” year for loads.  Whether it is lettuce, broccoli or cauliflower, which normal lead the pack of veggies when it comes to volume, none have been excetionally heavy.

This a a primary reason produce rates out of California have been anything but steller for this time of the year.

But keep in mind, even though California hasn’t been exceptional this summer, it still easily beats any other shipping area in country for the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables it ships.  This holds true not only for the Salina Valley, but the San Joaquin Valley.

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

San Joaquin Valley stone fruit, grapes, veggies – about $5300 to Chicago.


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California Produce Freight Rates Have Been A Little Soft

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DSCN0726Coast-to-Coast produce freight rates out of California  have been a little soft this year with the exception of a relatively short period of time a couple of months ago.  With few exceptions, there have not been bumper crops, in large part due to weather factors.  This has resulted in mostly adequate supplies of refrigerated equipment.  There were a few $10,000 rates from Salinas to the Northeast last spring, but that was the exception, not the rule.

Another factor holding down rates are the large refrigerated fleets that negotiate seasonal or annual freight rates on fresh fruits and vegetables.  They receive a lower than normal rate during the peak spring and summer months, but tend to take in a higher rates during the slower winter months.

California apple shipments have got underway with the  gala variety.  The state isn’t known for its apple production and basically fills a nich between dwindling imports and Washington’s new crop that starts in few weeks.

California granny smiths and early fujis shipments will start in late August, with cripps pink getting started around mid-October.

Shipments from California for the 2012-13 season were about 2 million boxes, down from the usual 2.6 million to 2.8 million.

Grape Shipments

California  is estimating 106.9 million, 19-pound- boxes will be shipped this season, which would be another record.  A new estimate will be out shortly.  Shipments are now coming out of the San Joaquin Valley.

San Joaquin Valley grapes, stone fruit, melons and veggies – grossing about $7800 to New York City.

Salinas Valley vegetables and berries – about $5300 to Chicago.

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