Posts Tagged “San Joaquin Valley grapes”

Shipping Updates: San Joaquin Valley Grapes; Plus Cherries from Montana and Washington

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IMG_5948+1Here’s a triple threat for hauling opportunities out of the Western U.S.  July means shipments of Montana cherries and San Joaquin Valley grapes, while Washington cherries are rapidly building in volume.

Although Central San Joaquin Valley grape shipments, similar to other California crops, will be a little later starting this season than last, grape haulers probably won’t notice the difference.

California grape shipments are initially estimated to total 112.1 million, 19-pound box equivalents.  Last year’s volume was 109 million boxes.  An official estimate is due in late July.

Many shippers will get underway with light volume loadings the first week of July in the Central San Joaquin Valley.  Meanwhile, some Coachella Valley shippers will still will be shipping fruit  into July, while others have finished the season during the last half of June.

Additionally, Mexican spring grape shipments are just wrapping up.

Montana Cherry Shipments

Glacier Fresh, cherry grower in the Flathead Lake region of western Montana was founded in 2001 and has traditionally grown high-quality fruit for the export market.  However, this season it will also be providing fruit for markets in the U.S. by working with Giumarra Cos, based in Los Angeles.

Glacier Fresh cherry shipments will get underway in late July with Rainiers and dark red varieties.  The Montana fruit operation works with Montana growers to pack and ship more than 1 million pounds of fruit, accounting for over 25 percent of the state’s annual cherry shipments.


by FirstFruits Marketing of Washington

YAKIMA, Wash. – FirstFruits Marketing of Yakima, WA announces that the 2017 Washington cherry shipments are well under way with exceptional quality and great color available now.

FirstFruits is currently shipping dark sweet cherries and Rainier cherries were in limited quantities starting June 16, with full volume by June 22.  Both dark sweet and Rainier cherries are available in conventional and organic varieties.

“The cherry crop looks excellent this season in terms of quality,” said Chuck Zeutenhorst, general manager of FirstFruits. “The color is just outstanding and we’re looking forward to working with our retail partners to present their customers with a great cherry program this season.”

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Watch for California Lettuce Quality Problems; Grapes May Provide Better, Safer Hauls

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Volatile late summer and early fall weather, that turned into a heat wave hitting triple digits in some areas, will be making otherwise normal California lettuce hauling opportunities more difficult to predict.

This also could very well increase your chances of claims at destination.  Abnormally hot weather can lead to seed stem and puffer heads, not to mention tip burn and possibly some mildrew.  Just use extra caution with California lettuce shipments the next few weeks.

Shippers already are expecting some shipping gaps with lettuce towards in the end of October.  Lettuce loading opportunities also will likely be diminished because the seasonal transition from the Salinas Valley to the Huron District  in the San Joaquin Valley may not be very smooth.  Due to the extreme drought and the water shortages, there will be less volume coming out of Huron, which normally ships for about three to four weeks, beginning in late October.  Once Huron is finished, the season shifts to the Imperial Valley and Yuma District.

Produce truckers will probably about as good luck picking up other vegetables items such as broccoli and cauliflower out of Salinas or Santa Maria, or carrots from the Bakersfield area.

San Joaquin Valley grapes continue to provide as heavy a volume as anything out of California, currently averaging about 800 truckloads per week.

Central San Joaquin Valley grapes – grossing about $7300 to New York City.





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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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A National Fall Produce Hauling Outlook for Apples, Grapes and More

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DSCN2138It’s looking like there will be more apples to haul during the 2013-14 season than last year’s huge crop.  The major difference will be other major apple shipping states will be offering a lot more loads.  Last year, it was primarily Washington state having any apple volume.

Nationwide new apple shipments could be anywhere from 250 and 252 million bushels, compared to the 215.7 million bushels produced nationwide a year ago.  Bad weather conditions in 2012 for New York state cost apple haulers about half of its loading opportunties.  Michigan was hit much harder as it shipped only 2.738 million bushels in 2012, compared to the state’s five-year average of 16.238 million bushels.  This season Michigan apple shipments should come back with a vengence topping 26 million bushels.

The Michigan apple harvest got under way last week with paula reds, with ginger golds following closely behind.. It is a pretty normal start for fruit from Michigan’s Fruit Ridge, which produces 70 percent of the state’s apples.

California Grapes

California growers ship over 70 varieties of table grapes and the vast majority of those graped will be transported to markets across the USA and Canada from August through October.  Record loads are predicted to be shipped by refrigerated trucks this season, mostly from the San Joaquin Valley.

Chilean Avocados

At various USA ports on both coasts, one the big items for the new season are avocados being imported from Chile.  It is predicted that trucks hauling the product from ports to north American market will transport  30 to 35 percent mor of the tropical fruit than last year.

Last season was a record breaking year for Hass avocados, with shipments, mostly by truck, topping 1.5 billion pounds. For 2013, loadings are projected to increaseby another 10 percent to 1.65 billion pounds. 

San Joaquin Valley grapes, melons veggies, stone fruit –  grossing about $7300 to New York City.



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Western Pear and Grape Shipments are Looking Good

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DSCN1828Harvesting of pears in Washington state and Oregon got underway last week and there are light shipments taking place.  Volume is increasing on a weekly basis.

California grapes are now in heavy volume.

The region is expected to ship about 19.4 million, 44-pound boxes of pears this season, which would be up about two percent from the 2012-13 crop.

If estimated pear shipments hold true for the season this would be 4 percent higher than the five-year average for loadings.

Pear volume for summer/fall pears from the Pacific Northwest is expected to be 4.7 million boxes, which would be about 5 percent less than 2012 season. Volume for Northwest winter pears is expected to come in at 15 million boxes.   The total Northwest winter pear volume is anticipated to be approximately 15 million boxes, up 4 percent from 2012.

California Grape Shipments

After an early and fast start to the California table grape season, the rapid paces is expected to continue well past Labor Day.  Shipping volume is running about two weeks earlier than normal.

During the 2012 season, California harvested 100.1 million 19-pound box equivalents of table grapes. Last  April the preliminary estimate for this season was 106.9 million boxes.

San Joaquin Valley grapes – grossing about $7500 to New York City.

Washington pears and apples – grossing about $6500 to New York City.


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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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