Posts Tagged “Washington produce shipments”

A Round up of Better Loading Opportunities in Western States

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January and February are two of the slowest months for fresh produce shipments, and while March begins to give hope of things to come it often is not much better.

Still, here is a round up of some of the best loading opportunities from the western states.


West Mexico vegetable shipments through Nogales, AZ are typically one of the best locations for produce loads in the winter, but this year it’s not quite up to speed, thanks to weather factors in growing areas south of the border. Produce trucking rates are down 8 to 10 percent to most destinations, at least in part to the lower volume.

Multiple rains in November followed by another round about New Year’s hit vegetables such as cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and green bell peppers pretty hard. These weather events are reported to be more serious than damaging freezes in 2011-12-13. Currently around 850 truckload equivalents of cukes are being shipped weekly and nearly 600 truckload equivalents of bell peppers.

In the Yuma area of western Arizona, most of the nation’s lettuce is coming from here now. There are about 375 truckload equivalents of head lettuce and romaine a week being shipped from Yuma.

Mexican vegetables crossing through Nogales – grossing about $3600 to Chicago.

Lettuce and other veggies from Yuma as well as the nearby Imperial Valley and Coachella Valley (the later two in the California desert) – grossing about $6200 to New York City.


California certainly is less than exciting from a produce hauling stand point right now. There is the previously mentioned desert areas, plus Oxnard is shipping some veggies, most notably celery, averaging about 400 truckload equivalents per week. The Bakersfield area is led by carrots with around 450 truckload equivalents a week.

Perhaps the most promising loads in the weeks ahead are with strawberries. South California volume now is very light, but there is the potential for record setting shipments from Easter (April 12) through the Fourth of July. Right now the primary strawberry loads are from Mexico through South Texas which are double the volume of California .

Carrots from the Bakersfield area – grossing about $3700 to Dallas.


Heaviest volume from the Pacific Time Zone is easily with apples, averaging about 2,750 truckloads each week. Storage sheds are mostly in the Yakima and Wenatchee valleys. Otherwise, there are onions and potatoes from Washington’s Columbia Basin and the adjacent Umatilla Basin in Oregon. There are over 800 truckloads of onions and about 360 truckloads of potatoes moving weekly from this area.

Yakima Valley apples – grossing about $6600 to New York City. 


The state’s upper valley and Twin Falls areas are shipping about 1,750 truckloads of potatoes a week.

Idaho potatoes grossing – about $4500 to Atlanta.

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Washington State’s Economy Depends Heavily on Agriculture

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Washington produce shipments play an integral part of the Evergreen state’s economy.

The state has rich soils, abundant fresh water, low cost hydropower, a favorable climate and hard-working people. Washington farm lands grow more than 300 varieties of crops, which is second only to California in crop diversity, according to a recently published report by the Washington Policy Center (WPC) .

Farms accounts for 13 percent of the state’s GDP and employ more people than Microsoft and Boeing combined.  Some 160,000 Washington jobs associated with agriculture.  Agriculture accounts for $51 billion in Washington yearly economic activity.
Over 200 food processors are supported by Washington farmers.
The apple is still rules in Washington.  Two-thirds of the apples shipped in the U.S., originate from Washington state.   One interesting fact coming out of the report is if the number of apples picked in Washington last year were placed side-by-side, they would circle the earth 29 times. Every apple is hand-picked.
While neighboring Idaho leads the nation in potato shipments, Washington also has significant potato loadings.  Between the two states, they account for 44 percent of the nation’s potato shipments.  When you order fries at a restaurant, you are likely to be served potatoes processed in the central part of Washington state.
The Washington Potato Commission reports that 99 percent of Washington potato farms are family businesses whose owners have deep roots in their communities.
Trucks move an estimated $42 million of freight on roadways in Washington state every hour of every day, yet many of them idle in traffic.  The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) estimated traffic bottlenecks cost truckers $49.6 billion in 2014.
While the state has a prosperous agriculture sector, the Washington Policy Center believes farm families, similar to those in trucking, feel the pressure of harmful legislation and regulations.
In 2013, the agriculture community faced nearly a billion dollars tax increases from legislation introduced in Olympia. That would be on top of the estimated $230 million farmers and agriculture-related businesses pay in property taxes annually.
Finally, farmers will feel the cost impacts of the governor’s proposed greenhouse gas rules which hit fertilizer makers and food processing facilities hard.
The report’s bottom line is agriculture must be given equal priority with high-tech, software, aerospace and biomedical research when the state’s leaders set tax, regulatory and economic policies.
Columbia Basin potato shipments – grossing about $3800 to Chicago.
Yakima Valley apple shipments – grossing about $6000 to New York City.


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A National Glimpse of Produce Shipments from Nearly a Dozen States

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DSCN3858+1Here’s a quick glimpse at some produce loading opportunities from 11 different states ranging from coast-to-coast.

Washington Produce Shipments

Washington state continues to ship its 2013-14 season crop of apples, averaging about 1,500 truck load equivalents per week.  Also coming out of the Yakima and Wenachee vallies are fresh cherries.  Volume remains strong, but is still only about one-third the volume of apple shipments.

Washington fruit – grossing about $7500 to New York City.

Michigan Produce Shipments

Peach shipments from the Benton Harbor area and other areas of Southwest Michigan have started.  Loadings for the stone fruit are generally a relatively short haul – within a 500 mile radius for the most part.  Chicago is one of the more popular destinations…..Apples from the area are expected to get underway the third week of August.  Meanwhile, Michigan blueberry shipments are moving into good volume, while summer mixed veggies continue.

Michigan blueberries – grossing about $2700 to Atlanta; Michigan vegetables grossing 15 to 20 percent less.

New Jersey Produce Shipments

Garden State peach shipments started a couple of weeks ago and are now moving into good volume.  Jersey blueberry loadings are still occurring, butare now past peak volume.  The southern part of the state  also is shipping a mixture of vegetables.

Watermelon Shipments

Watermelon loadings continue from a number of states.  While eastern Texas watermelon shipments, as well as Georgia watermelon shipments are declining, volume is steady out of South Carolina, but cranking up in North Carolina, followed closely by the Eastern Shore states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia…..Look for increasing volume of Missouri watermelons out of the boot heal area…..The watermelon season has recently started out of Southwest Indiana and Southeast Illinois.


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A National Outlook of Fall Produce Shipments from Several States

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DSCN0728Here’s a round up of some produce items being shipped from Florida, Michigan, Washington state, central Wisconsin and West Texas.

Florida Produce Shipments

The Florida grapefruit harvest got underway from the Indian River District September 30th and light shipments are underway.  By mid October loadings should be in good volume.

Florida’s citrus season usually begins with fallglo tangerines in mid- to late September, followed by grapefruit and navel oranges.  Initial estimates on the navel orange crop indicate shipments this season will be similar to a year ago.

Michigan Produce Shipments

Michigan is shipping light to moderate volume of several fall produce items.  While sweet corn and several other vegetable items are ending their season, there are partial loads of items such as celery and carrots.  Volume is now increasing on what promises to be a record amount of apples this season.  There also is increasing volume with potatoes and onions.

Washington Produce Shipments

Washington state is shipping nearly 2,000 truckload equivalents of apples weekly with the new crop, primarily from the Yakima and Wenathee valleys.  There also are about 750 loads of storage onions coming out of Washington’s Columbia Basin and the adjacent Umatilla Basin of Oregon.

Washington apples – grossing about $4500 to Chicago.

Wisconsin Potato Shipments

The Badger state is moving over 500 truck loads of potatoes weekly, primarily from Central Wisconsin, as volume continues to increase.

West Texas Potatoes

The High-Plains region in west Texas, south of Lubbock, is shipping about 250 truck load of spuds a week.

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