Posts Tagged “tomato shipments”

Western Shipping Update: Santa Maria, CA; Mexico and Melons

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DSCN0519+1From Santa Mara, CA vegetables, to Mexican imports and a USDA update on melon availablity, here are some shipping opportunities for produce haulers.

Vegetable shippers in California’s Santa Maria district see stable shipments this spring, even though the region didn’t get as thorough a winter soaking from El Niño as forecasts suggested.  The California drought persists.  Santa Maria started loading  mixed leaf lettuce in early March, nearly two weeks earlier than usual.  Salinas started at the end of the month.

Broccoli and cauliflower shipments are underway in Santa Maria, while celery has in light volume, but should be increasing this week.  Santa Maria produce shipments also now include strawberries, celery, romaine, romaine hearts, Tuscan kale, red kale, green kale, cilantro and parsley.

Santa Maria vegetable shipments – grossing about $6500 to New York City.

Mexican Produce Imports

At Nogales, border crossing include Mexican vine-ripes, romas, grapes and cherries, which continue through April.  With the finish of tomatoes, the new Mexican table grape season launches with crossings at Nogales and McAllen, Tx.  Vine ripe tomato shipments from Baja California also begin crossing near San Diego.

Carrot shipments from the Bakersfield, CA area have shifted to the Imperial Valley.

Mexican vegetable shipments through Nogales – grossing about $2000 to Dallas.

Melon Shipments

The USDA’ Market News Service reported as of April 5th the “difference in pounds from average”  as follows: Mexico/5.3 million pounds, up 11 percent; Honduras/1.8 million pounds, up 105 percent; Costa Rica/780,000 pounds, up 166 percent; Nicaragua/-468,000 pounds, down 100 percent; Florida/-680,000 pounds, down 100 percent; and Guatemala/-1.25 million pounds, down 21 percent.

Florida watermelon shipments are increasing, along with numerous vegetables.

South Florida watermelon shipments, vegetables – grossing about $1000 to Atlanta.

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Heavier Volume of Mexican Items to Nogales Coming in January

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DSCN5435West Mexico winter vegetable shipments are crossing the border into Nogales, AZ, although heavier volume typically doesn’t occur until January.

Shipping gaps of product from Mexico are not as common as they used to be thanks in part to signicant volume coming from vegetables grown under shade houses and in green houses.

Tomato shipments including romas, grape tomatoes and some round tomatoes are gradually increasing in December, with heaviest volume occurring January through March.  Mexican red peppers are in very light volume, and similar to tomatoes, are not expected to have significant loadings until around Christmas.

Melons such as watermelons and honeydew are more unpredictable due to winter growing conditions south of the border, but light volumes are expected through the end of the year.

Cucumber shipments have been underway since mid-September, which were soon followed by zucchini, yellow and gray squash,  English cucumbers started the third week of October and hard squash in early November.  Loadings of those items as well as  green beans, and eggplant were underway with the arrival of December.

Mexican vegetable shipments crossing at Nogales – grossing about $2800 to Chicago.

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Spring FL Produce Shipments Shaping Up to be Good

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DSCN5279Spring Florida produce shipments are shifting towards high gear!

Florida produce shipments for this spring are shaping up to be a good one for produce haulers because of excellent weather and growing conditions.

Vegetables being harvested in the Sunshine State range from tomatoes to snap beans, sweet corn, cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, celery, squash, lettuce and other leaf vegetables.  Florida citrus shipments continue, while the strawberry harvest has concluded, but blueberry loadings are ramping up.

The state grows and ships over 350 commodities.

Weather didn’t pose any significant obstacles to growers this season as the state has experienced a mild winter.

Tomato shipments for both grape and cherry tomatoes from the Palmetto/Ruskin areas of Florida should get underway about April 10th, while romas and rounds should follow around April 17-20.

Tomato shipments should reach seasonal norms the week of April 6 or the week of April 13.

South Florida fresh potato shipments commenced in early February and will continue until early to mid-May.  Peak Florida potato shipments are occuring during March and April.

Florida red, yellow and white potatoes – grossing about $2975 to Dallas.

Florida mixed vegetables  – grossing about $3400 to New York City and about $3100 to Chicago.




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Vegetable Shipments: Nogales is Increasing; CA-AZ Deserts to Have Gaps

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136_3642+1As we rapidly approach the New Year, vegetable volume will be increasing from Mexico through Nogales, as well as the California desert.  Here also is a summary of what recent rains in drought stricken California will mean for produce haulers in the future.

Mexican vine-ripe tomato shipments will be moving into volume shipments around January 1st.

Mexican strawberry volume is increasing along with strawberries from the Plant City, FL area as well as fruit from Ventura County, CA.

Southern California strawberry shipments started the week of December 15th with very light volume.  However, increasing the volume has been hampered due to rainy, cool weather.  Mexican strawberry shipments have been steadily increasing, but decent volume won’t be available until the first or second week of January.

California Drought Update

A week of storms that swept through California in mid-December came nowhere close to ending the state’s drought.  But with continued warm weather in the forecast, conditions are good for rapid crop growth — and possible winter shipping gaps.  Celery out of Oxnard and iceberg lettuce out of Yuma, Ariz.  are both coming on fast — where less rain fell but warm weather prevailed.

It has taken a crop that was well ahead of schedule and made it even more so,.  The combination of rain, with mild conditions has created accelerated growth that is unprecedented.  This is expected to result in shipping gaps during the next several weeks.

A NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory study released Dec. 16 found the water storage in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River basins was 11 trillion gallons below normal seasonal levels.  It could take years to replenish that.  The study was based on satellite data from earlier in 2014.

Mexican vegetables crossing at Nogales – grossing about $1000 to Los Angeles.

Imperial Valley/Yuma district vegetables – grossing about $5300 to Atlanta.

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Moderate Produce Shipments from Eastern U.S. Shipping Areas

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DSCN4359Here are some of the better loading opportunities occurring in the Eastern United States, although volume from most areas is modest at best.

Florida produce shipments and truck rates tend to get a little funky during the holidays as there is a rush to deliver product for Christmas, then reorder between Christmas and New Year’s.  Rates tend to fluctuate more than normal during this time.

Tomato shipments in Florida’s Homestead region should kick off in January, but overall Florida volume will likely fall off as Mexican tomato shipments ramp up.  Many Florida tomato growers simply don’t grow as heavily for winter as they do for fall and spring.  Shipments in the Ruskin/Palmetto growing region of Florida pretty much finished  last week, with Immokalee taking over the lion’s share of the Sunshine State’s tomato volume.

Florida strawberry shipments were slow to pick up thanks to cool weather,  but that began changing last week.  Volume should hit, good, normal levels in early January.

Central and South Florida produce – grossing about $3200 to New York City.

Sweet Potato Shipments

Domestic shipments in the USA for sweet potatoes has risen by 40 percent since 2008, with exports rising exponentially during the same period.   North Carolina is the leading state in sweet potato shipments.

North Carolina sweet potatoes – grossing about $3000 to Chicago.

New York Produce Shipments

Apple shipments are originating out of Western and Central New York, as well as the Champlain Valley, but the biggest volume is from the Hudson Valley.  Cabbage loadings continue from Central and western areas, while most onion shipments are coming out of Orange County.

Hudson Valley apples – grossing about $2000 to Atlanta.



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A Round up of Florida Produce Loading Opportunities

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DSCN4363Florida produce shipments

Florida isn’t exactly a hot bed  for produce haulers this time of the year, but when you get right down to it, neither is Nogales, the Arizona and California deserts, or many other places.  But here’s what’s happening in Florida, or will be occurring in the weeks and months ahead.

Grapefruit shipments provide some of the best loading opportunities.  It started in October and will continue  through April, although January through March provides the biggest volume.  Florida typically ships 18 to 20 million boxes of grapefruit each season.  Pink grapefruit comprises about 70 percent of the shipments, and Florida remains the world’s largest shipper of commercial grapefruit.

Winter veggies provide light to moderate loading opportunities out of Florida this time of the year.  The state ranks second nationally in bell pepper shipments, which kicked off last October and should be available through June,   Florida is number one in both sweet corn and snap bean shipments., which started in November and should continue through May.  Typically April and May are the top two months for Florida veggies loadings.

Tomato shipments are just coming into decent volume and will be available through the spring.  Loadings are originating from the Palmetto-Ruskin area, as well as Immokalee.  There also is light volume with cherry and grape tomatoes from Central Florida.

Strawberry shipments from the Plant City area provide some of the best Florida hauling opportunities during the winter.  Light volume is under way and good volume will be available in the next week or two.  Shipments will continue into the middle of March.

Florida blueberry shipments have seen dramatic increases in recent years, but won’t be available until March, continuing through May….Likewise, watermelon shipments will start in mid-March and continue to early June.  In fact, Florida is the only state shipping watermelons during much of this time period.

Central and South Florida vegetables and tomatoes – grossing about $2700 to New York City.



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Mexican Watermelon and Tomato Loads Available, with Grapes Starting Soon

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GAtks0314 085Mexican watermelon imports are heavy, tomatoes moderate, with grape loadings about to start.

Mexican Grape Shipments

An early start to Mexican grape  shipments through Nogales, AZ will take place as much as two weeks ahead of normal.  That means the initial crossings will occur in late April.  There should be good volume heading into Mother’s Day (May 11) as well as for the the long Memorial weekend (May 24-26).  Peak shipments will occur during June and there still should be decent volume for deliveries prior the the Fourth of July weekend.  No estimates have been provided on the size of the crop but it is not unsual for Mexico to ship 10 million, if not more cartons of grapes during the season.

Mexican Watermelon Shipments

Watermelon crossings into Nogales from Mexico continue to increase.  About 1700 truckloads of melons are crossing weekly, with even heavier volume ahead.  Mexican watermelons crossing into South Texas at Pharr are up to 500 truckloads weekly and are increasing as well.

Mexican Tomato Shipments

Mexican vine ripe and roma tomatoes are not crossing the border in the numbers watermelons are, but there is still moderate volume in both South Texas and at Nogales.

Both of these ports in Arizona and Texas are going to continue handling heavier volume of Mexican produce shipments in the years ahead.  Each port has had significant upgrades to move traffic faster and more smoothly across the border.  The new Mexican highway stretching from Western Mexico to nearly the Gulf of Coast will result in entries at South Texas growing faster than ever, especially for produce being shipped to the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada.

Nogales produce loads – grossing about $4500 to Atlanta.

Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas – grossing about $5700 to New York City.


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Western Outlook for Loadings of California Tomatoes, WI Potatoes, Colo. Peaches

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DSCN2052Here’s a round up on tomato shipments from Southern California, Baja, as well as the Wisconsin potato loading outlook, and finally peaches from Colorado’s Western Slope.

There has been light to modern shipments of roma, round, grape and cherry tomatoes from the San Diego/Oceanside area of California since June, with peak loadings expected be from mid-October through November.  A similar situation holds true for the nearby Baja pennisula in Mexico.  Quality is reported good and shippers are having no problem finding customer to ship tomatoes since demand is excellent, in part due to poor weather and tomato growing conditions on the East Coast.

Wisconsin Potato Shipments

Wisconsin potatoes for the 2013-14 season should have higher quality than a year ago when there was a high percentage of culls, and grade-out, which increases the chances of claims for a produce hauler.

Wisconsin potato observers are predicting a high-volume of shipments this season, with most of the volume being with russets….The Badger state’s red potato loadings have been in good volume since mid-August.  Russets have been moving in good volume since late August.

Colorado Peaches

Colorado peach shipments will be in far smaller volumes this season due to spring freezes in and around Palisade, CO.  Peach shipments in Colorado run from about mid-July through September.  Loading are expected to be down to as much as  30 to 40 percent  of normal in the Palisade area, making it the  smallest peach crop since 1991.

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Produce Loads: A Look at Shipments Around the Country

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IMG_6550Here’s a look at some produce loading opportunities around the country, as well as what to expect in the next few months.

Vine ripe tomato shipments are crossing the border into the USA from Baja Mexico, plus California mature green tomato loadings are ramping up from Tracy and Newman, CA and other operations in the area.  Tomato loads also are available from Arkansas, South Carolina and Georgia.

California pear shipments got underway last week and are now increasing in volume.  Growers are expected to ship about 4.5 million boxes of fresh-market pears this season. About 2.8 million of those will come from the Sacramento river district, with the lake district accounting for another 1.2 million boxes and Mendocino about 418,000 boxes.

Regarding the extreme heat we’ve been hearing so much about in the West, last weekend the Coachella Valley was apparoaching  120-degrees.  This is bound to adversely affect the tail end of the Coachella grape shipments and very well could end the season a little earlier than planned.  It also means you should be more watchful than usual for quality problems if loading Coachella grapes.

The heat also may adversely affect California vegetables shipments such as eggplant and other items.

In Georgia, steady,  shipments of Vidalia onions will be coming out storages through Labor Day.

The USDA is reporting potato loads could be down for the upcoming fall season as planted acres across the USA are at 1.2 million acres, a drop of 70,700 acres or 6.1 percent.  Idaho has planted 28,000 fewer acres than 2012 and will also harvest 28,000 less acres or a drop of 8.1 percent. Wisconsin acres planted and harvest projections are unchanged from last year at 64,500 and 63,500 respectively.  Washington has planted 160,000 acres or 5,000 less than last year.

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