Posts Tagged “vegetable shipments”

Fewer Vegetable Shipments Seen Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

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Fewer plantings of California leafy greens are expected to result in less shipments during the next few months. This is because of declines in foodservice demand related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

RaboResearch conversations with vegetable shippers reveal they are likely to cut acreage by 10 to 15 percent over the next 60 days.

Because of reduced demand over the past six weeks, growers for foodservice have walked away from fields. Many are hoping to redirect shipments to retailers.

The acreage not being used now represents 50 to 85 percent of the land normally planted for product destined to restaurants, schools and other foodservice accounts. Vegetables generally are directed to foodservice accounts more than fruits. Tomatoes and lettuce are two of the higher volume vegetables going to foodservice.

About 15 percent of fresh fruit is shipped for foodservice.

Retail performance

Increased shipments to retail have helped compensate for lagging foodservice demand.

Retail statistics for the four weeks ending April 12 reveal fresh produce sales increased 17 percent compared with the same period last year.

Fresh fruit sales were up about 9 percent for the four-week period, while fresh vegetable sales were up 25 percent.

Orange sales for the period were up 55 percent, but sales of grapes, melons and pears were down.

The 25 percent overall increase in vegetables was highlighted by gains in potatoes and sweet potatoes, at 80 percent and 55 increases, respectively.

Packaged salad sales for the four-week period ending April 12 were up only 7 percent.

On the plus side foodservice shipments are likely to increase when states end lockdowns.

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Kern County Vegetable Shipments are Underway

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Grower-shippers in California’s Kern County say they started on-time start with this season’s vegetable shipments, in spite of heavy rainfall.

Danny Andrews Farms of Bakersfield, CA reports minor delays due to rain on the start of lettuce and cabbage, but harvest of those items began April 13.

Andrews started vegetable shipments with iceberg lettuce, green and red cabbage. The company will have carrots in June and melons in July.

It remains to be seen whether the rains will adverse affect quality and yields of melons.

Johnston Farms of Edison, CA wrapped up citrus shipments in mid-April and started its potato season nearly a week ago, with peppers expected by June 1.

Kirschenman Enterprises Inc. of Edison, CA started its potato season with shipments from the Coachella Valley, and now is focusing on its Bakersfield crop which includes white, red and yellow spuds.

The company expects to launch its table grape season in Kern County at the end of June. Kirshenman reports the grape industry expects to have 10 percent less volume this year, not because of COVID-19, but due to overproduction, declining markets, and some grape varieties being pulled in favor of new varieties.

TD Produce Sales of Bakersfield started shipping white potatoes in late April and red and yellow potatoes in early May.

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Grimmway Southeast is Shipping Carrots, Organic Veggies Through Spring

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By Grimmway Farms

BAKERSFIELD, CA — Grimmway Farms, a global produce leader and the world’s largest producer of carrots, is shipping regionally through its Lake Park, GA processing facility. It is currently loading carrots and organic vegetables across the Southeast region and Eastern Seaboard. The California-based company is offering conventional and organic carrot products in addition to almost 20 varieties of organic vegetables.

“Cal-Organic is trialing a host of commodities in limited volumes from our Southeast growing region. For the first time, we’re offering an array of premium quality organic leafy greens, herbs, root vegetables and carrots and we plan to expand this regional planting next fall,” said Bob Borda, Vice President of Organic Sales at Grimmway Farms.

In addition to Cal-Organic vegetables, Grimmway is offering conventional and organic baby carrots as well as conventional and organic fresh, cello and jumbo carrots in a full range of pack sizes. The company is also offering conventional and organic industrial peeled chunk carrots. Grimmway expects supply of organic vegetables and carrots to run through April with conventional carrot products loading through May.

Grimmway’s Lake Park facility provides a great option for regional customers. “We are pleased to provide our partners with faster shipping times and fresh, local produce during this season of regional availability,” added Eric Proffitt, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Grimmway.

Grimmway is loading carrots and organic vegetables from the Lake Park facility Monday through Saturday from 7 am to 11:30 pm and on Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm (EST) by appointment only. To book a loading appointment, please call 866-328-6867.

About Grimmway Farms

Family-owned and headquartered in Bakersfield, California, Grimmway Farms traces its roots to a produce stand opened by the Grimm brothers in the early 1960s. Grimmway is a global produce leader and the world’s largest producer of carrots. Grimmway supplies more than 65 organic, USA-grown crops and brands include Cal-Organic Farms and Bunny-Luv. For more information, visit www.grimmway.com

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New Jersey Produce Shipments Increase During June

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While New Jersey produce shipments start in May with items ranging from asparagus to greens, some root vegetables, spring onions and strawberries, volume increases with a longer list of items moving into June, July, August and September, which are the peak shipping months.

Jersey has had a good growing season for fresh produce and now two of its largest volume makers, blueberries and peaches, are coming on.

Nationally, New Jersey is one of the top 10 shippers of blueberries, peaches, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, apples, spinach, squash and asparagus.



Peach Shipments

New Jersey peach shipments, which start in late June, occur primarily from July through September. The Garden State has about 80 orchards comprising about 5,000 acres with production values at about $30 million annually. Most commercial orchards are in Southern Jersey.

New Jersey is the 4th largest peach shipping state in the U.S., with about 55 orchards on 5,000 acres, producing 22,000-25,000 tons.



Sunny Valley International has been marketing peaches and blueberries since 1995, representing the Jersey Fruit Cooperative, which produces over l million cases of blueberries, yellow peaches, white peaches and nectarines a year. Peaches used to be the main crop, but\the co-op has shifted mostly to blueberries, while the peach industry is consolidating into fewer growers, but bigger growers. 

Sunny Valley’s growers produce about 1.2 million boxes, or 30 million pounds, of peaches — the majority yellow peaches. Volume for peaches is expected to be about 10 percent more this year. Sunny Valley will be shipping peaches from July to mid September.

Blueberry Shipments

From June 11 to July 31, New Jersey blueberries shipments have just started from what some refer to as the “blueberry capital of the world,” Hammonton, NJ, with loadings continuing through July.

Sunny Valley’s 11 blueberry growers are reporting great growing conditions. In a normal season, the company ships about 1 million cases, or about 9 million pounds, of blueberries. 

Consalo Family Farms of Vineland, NJ has announced an additional 50 acres for growing and packing capabilities from 8 million to 9.5 million pounds during the New Jersey blueberry season.

Vegetable Shipments 

New Jersey sweet corn and tomato loadings start the third week of June, with volume coming on by the Fourth of July.

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South Carolina Produce Shipments are on Track

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South Carolina shippers are gearing up for a promising season starting in June with most loads destined for markets in the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states.

South Carolina ranks 5th nationally in watermelon shipments. It has 10,000 acres of watermelon planted this season. Melon shipments are expected from mid-June thru late July. Approximately 80 percent of South Carolina watermelons shipments are seedless.


Following an early March freeze, the state’s peach estimate plunged to about 70 percent of a normal crop. Still, excellent quality fruit is expected. South Carolina ranks second to California in domestic peach shipments. Loadings started in early May and will continue through early August. 

The state is also known for it vegetable shipments of collards, summer squash and sweet corn, although there are shipments of beans, peas and Sea Island tomatoes. Berries ranging from strawberries to blueberries will come on in June.

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Hurricane Michael Clobbers Vegetables in Georgia

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DSCN0568Fall vegetable shipments from Georgia are not typically as heavy as those of summer, but those in the ground were hit hard by Hurricane Michael.  Just how hard will not be known for awhile.

The Category 4 hurricane hit near Mexico Beach in the Florida Panhandle and weakened to a tropical storm before sweeping across Georgia and the Carolinas. The fast moving storm moved out of Georgia on the morning of October 11th.  The storm tracked across Georgia at a northeast bearing, moving from Bainbridge to Cordele and then Warner Robins, GA.

Wind was the primary cause of damage to crop with 75-mph winds taking a heavy toll.  Near the path of the storm, cucumber, green bean and squash plants were broken by the wind.

Many of Georgia’s vegetable growers also grow cotton, which was devastated by the storm.  Heavy damage to Georgia’s pecan crop also is expected. A good portion of Georgia’s vegetable growing areas, such as Lake Park, were south of the storm’s path.

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Produce Loading Opportunities Found East of the Rocky Mountains

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Red Semi Truck Climbing Hill On Interstate HighwayHere is a glimpse of some produce loading opportunities found east of the Rocky Mountains, stretching to the East Coast.

Florida is entering its last few weeks of spring vegetable shipments.  Sweet corn is averaging 700 – plus truck loads per week primarily from central and southern areas of the state, while just under 700 truck loads of  mature green tomatoes are being shipped weekly.  There also is decent volume coming from red potatoes and cabbage, with lighter volume on cabbages and dozens of other vegetables.  A biggie when it comes to shipments is yet to arrive.  Watermelon loadings are in light volume but rapidly increasing.

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

Chilean imported grapes totaled around 1200 truck loads arriving by boat last week, primarily at the Ports of Philadelphia and Long Beach, CA.  However, expected is a significant decline in volume as Chilean grapes come to a seasonal end.

Sweet potato shipments are pretty steady from the Eastern part of North Carolina averaging around 400 truck loads per week.  This is triple the amount of volume coming out of California, Louisiana and Mississippi combined.

New York state is shipping light amounts of apples, but they are coming from scattered areas across much of the states.  There also is light volume with cabbage and onions.

Michigan is moving about 100 truck loads of apples from the western half of the state, plus light amounts of potatoes and onions, many which are being brought in from other growing areas for repacking and distribution.

Michigan apples – grossing about $3800 to Boston.

The Red River Valley of eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota have light volume with red potatoes averaging about 200 truck loads weekly, while shippers in the Central area of Wisconsin are shipping similar amounts of russets.

In the Southeastern part of Colorado, around 625 truck loads of russet potatoes are being loaded each week.

Colorado and Wisconsin potatoes – both averaging about $3000 to Atlanta.

 

 

 

 

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Western Vegetable Shipments to be Light as a Transition from the Desert Takes Place

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DSCN0449A shipping gap appears likely in the West as vegetables from the desert shipping areas of California and Arizona are seasonally winding down.  At the same time the seasonal transition of the products from the desert to Huron in the San Joaquin Valley and to the Salinas Valley probably won’t be that smooth.  Light vegetable shipments at best are seen in the coming weeks.

There seems to be more years than not, when a smooth transition from the desert areas to those to the north in California fail to materialize.

Refrigerated truck loadings out of the desert are wrapping up one to two weeks early this season, aided primarily by warmer weather, at least by winter standards there, even though there has been enough winter weather to cause quality problems with lettuce.  This is has been primarily with California desert head lettuce showing blistering and having problems with peel.

Vegetables out Salinas and Huron were scheduled to start shipping a week or two earlier, but cooler weather pushed back the growing schedule.  As a result of the desert ending early combined with delays in Salinas and Huron, vegetable shipments will be lighter well into March.  Unless the weather cooperates, the situation could extend into the middle of April.

Truck loadings in Salinas and Santa Maria with cauliflower and broccoli are just starting in very light volume.

Vegetable shipments in the desert typically extends through March, but the season is expected to finish as much as two weeks earlier than that.

Head lettuce shipments from the Huron district in the San Joaquin Valley should get underway in light fashion during the last half of March.  Volume loadings of Salinas Valley lettuce should occur during the first half of April, about one to two weeks later than normal.

Vegetable shipments from El Centro, CA and Yuma, AZ are grossing about $6700 to New York City.

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A Look at Produce Shipments from the Eastern Time Zone of the U.S.

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A1Produce trucking can be frustrating this time of year as spring is still a month away (March 20th), rates are down from earlier in the year, and spring vegetable shipments have yet to seasonally take off.

An interesting note is imported truck loads that include everything from Nogales and South Texas, as well as ports on both coasts, there were 7000 fewer truck loads shipped than during the same week in 2017.  Part of the explanation is many imported produce items are maturing on a more normal schedule this year, compared to last year when warmer weather resulted in a lot of early crops.

Florida spring shipments won’t hit volume for several weeks, but there are signs of life.  The new season for red potatoes out of Southern areas is underway, and we are seeing light but increasing volume with vegetables such as beans and cabbage.  Tomatoes (mostly mature greens) are averaging around 750 truck loads weekly, although most loads out of the state involve multiple pick ups.  Plant City area strawberries are averaging around 500 truck loads a week.

Florida produce – grossing around $3000 to New York City.

Port of Philadelphia

Chilean fruit arrivals are growing in volume.  Early season Chilean grapes haven’t been that impressive quality-wise, but it’s good enough you shouldn’t face claims issues over it.  There also is increasing volume with peaches, plums and nectarines.  However, the biggest single volume item may be pineapples from Costa Rica and other Central American countries.

Otherwise, it is pretty much slim pickings from the Eastern time zone.  You’ve got light volume out of New York state with apples, cabbage and storage onions.  Eastern North Carolina is shipping around 250 truck loads of sweet potatoes each week, which is more than double the other leading states of California, Mississippi and Louisiana combined.

Michigan is moving about 150 truck loads of apples weekly, primarily from the Grand Rapids region.  Some shippers buy items such as potatoes and onions from Western states, repack them, and then ship it out.

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What is Behind These Soaring Freight Rates on Fresh Produce Hauls

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TAAAAhere’s a lot of talk about soaring truck rates, including produce, and how long these levels will last, considering January is typically one of the poorest months for decent rates. Nobody really knows, so it is going to be very interesting once spring produce volume starts kicking in with March.

In January, some truck rates exceeded $10,000 from the Imperial Valley of California to New York City.  This compares to a $6,000 to $6,200 rate in January 2017. Two years ago, the rates were $5,800 to $6,000 to New York.

Florida has a similar situation where produce rates from central and south Florida to Baltimore were up 30 percent a week ago compared with the previous week, grossing $2,700 to$2,900.  The same time a year ago those rates were $1,900 to $2,200, and $2,100 to $2,200 two years ago.

While Florida volume is seasonally low compared to what it will be in April and May, product is moving fast partly because the Sunshine State has a significant freight advantage over Mexican vegetable shipments to many eastern seaboard markets.

In the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota a bumper red potato crop is 46 percent larger than a year ago.  Yet some observers believe potato shipments could be up to 20 percent more if the trucks were available.

Potato rates from Grand Forks, MN are $3 per hundred weight (cwt) higher than last year to South Florida, putting the gross freight rate at $6000. Rates to Boston from the valley are up $2 per cwt. and $2.50 to Chicago.

Significant credit has to be given President Trump cutting regulations, as well as the recent tax bill which is helping spur the economy.  Business is booming for many. This has increased demands for transportation services, plus there is a scarcity of qualified drivers, leaving many shippers scrambling to ship sold product.  There also are the adverse consequences of the electronic logging device mandate, making it difficult if not impossible to fudge on hours of service.

Many see a need for changes in hours of service.  For example, time spent waiting at loading docks counts against operating hours.  Produce is a supply and demand business and demand simply is outstripping the supply of available drivers.

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