Posts Tagged “watermelon shipments”

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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What to Look for with Produce Shipments for the Fourth of July

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DSCN9472Wanting to spend the Fourth of July with family and friends instead of on the road?  Here are some of the better opportunities for produce shipments leading up to the celebration of our nation’s 241st celebration of independence.

Avocado Shipments

Avocado loadings will be good, but certainly not great.  When you take Mexico pretty out of the mix, because this time of year shipments are at a seasonal low, you are pretty much left with Southern California, as well as imports from Peru arriving at various ports.  Still there will be 40 to 45 million pounds of avocado across the U.S. being shipped weekly.  We’ll also mention Southern Florida avocado shipments.  Florida’s biggest avocado shipper, Brooks Tropical of Homestead will be having its heaviest loadings in two years.

Blueberry Shipments

New Jersey blueberries will be in peak season, mostly from the Southern part of the state.

If you loaded British Columbia blueberries last season in time for Fourth of July activities that won’t happen this year.  BC  blues are a month later, which is more normal, and shipments won’t get underway until the first week of July.  The region should ship about 170 million pounds this season, lasting into mid September.

Strawberry Shipments

On the West Coast, Mother Nature has been kind to strawberries from the Watsonville area.  Heavy shipments are now occurring and will remain that way through mid July.  There also will be much lighter loadings of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, which will start hitting stride around the Fourth of July.

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

Watermelon Shipments

Early season watermelons from Texas have probably been the best quality in a few years and that hopefully will continue with maturing fruit coming on in Oklahoma…..Meanwhile, Northern Florida and Georgia are looking to have a decent amount of shipments, although volume has been heavier in some other years.

Central Florida watermelons – grossing about $2800 to New York City.

Vegetable Shipments

Decent supplies of vegetables are coming out of Southern Georgia.  For example, the Moultrie area is loading items ranging from sweet corn to squash, cabbage and green beans……North Carolina vegetable shipments are ranging from bell peppers, hot peppers and eggplant….Moving to California, the Gilroy area has some of the state’s largest shipments of sweet corn…..The roller coast ride for Salinas Valley head lettuce has continued since last spring.  Shipments should be a little more steady now, with volume better than last year time, but still not heavy.

Southern Georgia vegetable shipments – grossing about $2000 to New York City.





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Stemilt Artisan Organics Apricot Harvest Set; Texas Onion Shipping Wrap Up

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DSCN0509+1by Stemilt Growers

WENATCHEE, Wash. –  Stemilt and their marketing partner, Douglas Fruit, are gearing up for another successful Artisan Organics® apricot season, which is predicted to start two weeks later than normal. Stemilt expects their organic apricots to begin harvest in late June, with volumes ramping up quickly for promotable volumes throughout July….Meanwhile, here’s a summary of the just finished Texas 1015 onion shipping season.

With a historic early start last year, it is only fitting to experience a late start for crops up and down the West Coast this year.

The Douglas family tree fruit growing roots date back to the 1890s and today, the fourth generation is hands-on when it involves the family’s growing and packing business, which includes apricots, peaches, nectarines, apples, and cherries.  In 2007, the Douglas family started the transition process to move the majority of its apricot orchards to organic production, as well as their entire crop of peaches and nectarines, viewing the move to organic as an opportunity to differentiate the flavors of its stone fruits.

“We’ve found a great niche in growing apricots organically that matches well with our flavor focus,” said Jill Douglas, co-president of Douglas Fruit. “We farm in the best locale, Washington’s Columbia Basin, where warm days and cool nights create beautifully colored fruits with exceptional flavors. Artisan Organics® apricots really exceed standards thanks to the climate and organic farming practices.”

Stemilt accounts for approximately 40 percent of Washington State’s apricot crop taking the leading position in apricot production. Stemilt is also the leader in organic cots, with 60 percent of its entire apricot crop grown and certified as organic.  The leading variety that Stemilt produces is Robada.

The peak of organic apricot shipping season should start in early July and continue through the first three weeks of July.  Organic food sales are growing by double-digits annually.


Yakima Valley apple shipments – grossing about $5700 to New York City.


Texas Onion Shipments

Texas onion shipments were down early in the season, but finished strong where shipments for the overall season were about average.  The Lower Rio Grande Valley was hit by excessive rains and insect damage by thrips. Thrips are a minute black winged insect that sucks plant sap and can be serious pest to ornamental and food plants when present in large numbers. Texas 1015 onion shipments got underway in early March about a month earlier than normal.   Typically Texas will ship about 350 to 400 truck loads of 800 bags (40,000 pounds) daily, but during the period for Easter loadings shipments rose to around 480 to525 loads per day.

Lower Rio Grande Valley watermelon shipments – grossing about $4400 to New York City.


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Loading Imported Mexican Produce Continues to Increase

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PeppersLoading opportunities for produce haulers for imported Mexican fresh fruits and vegetables have been rising for the past two decades or more, and this trend is expected to continue.

The reasons range from favoritable climates (with the emphasis on the plural) south of the border, cheaper labor and growing costs, not to mention the outrageous political and regulatory climate in crazy California that is makes it ever more difficult to do business there.

For example, A.M. Farms, Stockton, CA., had grown asparagus there since the 1930s, but no longer farms the product.  Dole Fresh Vegetables of Monterey, CA no longer markets asparagus from California and is concentrating its efforts with Mexican grown asparagus.

It used to be Mexican imports by U.S. businesses got underway around Thanksgiving and continued through March or maybe mid-April.  Now some produce items are still crossing the border in late spring and early summer.  For example, watermelon shipments are now available through most of June.  Table grape, mangos and some leafy items go well into summer.

Peak loading opportunities of Mexican produce imports for the winter season, used to be January or February, but now it is closer to being March and April.

Some produce growers are moving farther south into Mexico building greenhouse operations, allowing a longer growing and shipping season.  This helps them bridge the supply gap for the U.S. crops in May and June that are hitting big volume.

Just as some product from west Mexico now is imported through McAllen, TX, during the fall and winter to offer a freight advantages for the Midwest and Eastern markets, some product from Jalisco now comes through Nogales during the spring and summer to offer freight advantages to West Coast receivers.

Some U.S. tomato growers now ship from Mexico year-round by sourcing from new growing areas during what traditionally has been the off season.  Sonora is a huge area for Mexican grown produce and it continues to expand.  It used to be the state of Sinaloa was where the main volume originated.

Virtually all of Mexico’s grapes come from the Caborca and Hermosillo regions of Sonora, with shipments starting in April and continuing into July.

Imported Mexican melons, tomatoes and vegetables from Nogales – grossing about $2800 to Chicago.


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Loading Updates: Melons, Grapes, Avocados, Onions

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DSCN7612A seasonal shift in watermelon shipments is taking place, plus here’s an update on loadings for California grapes, Florida avocados and Western onion shipments.

Watermelon Shipments Shift

Volume watermelon shipments are making a seasonal shift to new production areas.  Loadings are now taking place from fields west of Lubbock, TX.   Shipping will continue through September.  Both Indiana and Delaware should have watermelon shipments moving into good volume this week….Mexican watermelon shipments through Nogales, AZ are expected by mid October.

Delaware, Maryland and Virginia watermelon shipments – grossing about $1100 to New York City.

California Grape Shipments

In the week ending July 30, about 67 million pounds of California grapes were shipped in the U.S., down from 72.7 million pounds in the same week in 2015.  The July 30 total, was however, more than the 61.9 million pounds that shipped in 2014.  Year-to-date as of July 30, about 1.47 billion pounds of grapes had shipped in the U.S., down from 1.59 billion pounds last year.

San Joaquin Valley grape shipments – grossing about $6200 to New York City.

Florida Avocado Shipments

Florida avocado grower-shippers expect to ship about one-third less fruit compared to previous seasons.  Initially, about 1 million bushels of the green-skinned avocados were expected to be moved.   However, that estimate was later reduced to about 800,000 bushels.  Following an unfavorable growing season, grower-shippers are now eying 600,000-700,000 bushels, about 35 percent smaller than normal.  Typically, shippers such as New Limeco LLC in Princeton, FL as well as Unity Groves Corp. and Brooks Tropicals, both based in Homestead, FL, have peak loadings  in July, August and September.  Most shipments will be finished in December, although very light volume will extend through March.

Onion Shipments

Washington, Idaho and Oregon account for one-third of the nation’s onion shipments.  The primary Pacific Northwest shipping locations for storage onions are in the Treasure Valley in western Idaho and eastern Oregon and in the Columbia Basin in Central Washington and North Central Oregon.   Three years ago Northwest onion shipments exceeded 32 million hundredweight.

Northwest onion volume is currently very light, but gradually increasing.  Much heavier shipments are taking place from southern New Mexico, averaging about 750 truckloads a week.  California’s San Joaquin Valley has over 650 truck loads being shipped weekly.

Southern New Mexico onion shipments – grossing about $3100 to Chicago.


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A Produce Shipping Smorgasbord – Part II

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DSCN7617A week ago you were presented a smorgasbord of produce hauling opportunities from around the county.  Well, here’s Part II ranging from Mexican crossings into the Lower Rio Grand Valley of Texas to Northwest blueberry loadings, Wisconsin potatoes – and more.

South Texas Produce Shipments

Mexican produce shipments crossing the border into Pharr, Tx cover a lot of items ranging from citrus to tropical fruit and vegetables.  However, no one item has real heavy volume at this time.  Among the heaviest volume commodities are: avocados hitting about 675 truck loads per week, but volume is increasing; mangos with about 500 truck loads a week and limes at about 450 trucks load each week.

Around 550 truck loads of vine ripe, as well roma tomatoes are crossing the border weekly.

There’s also many other products coming into South Texas, but in much lighter volume ranging from lemons to papayas, broccoli, carrots and cucumbers.

Mexican produce crossing into South Texas – grossing about $2400 to Chicago.

Wisconsin Potato Shipments

Loadings of the old 2015-16 russet potato crop had in a fast seasonal decline.  Meanwhile, the central part of the state has just started shipping a few of the 2016-17 potato crop, but we’re another month of so away of good volume.

Northwest Blueberry Shipments

Blueberry shipments are increasing from both Oregon and Washington state, as well as from British Columbia.

Washington Apple Shipments

The consistent item in the Northwest is typically apples, especially since Washington easily lead the nation in apple shipments.  Even though it is very late in 2015-16 shipping season, Washington is still average over 650 truckloads each week.

Yakima Valley apples – grossing about $4600 to Dallas.

Watermelon Shipments

A week ago we cover Midwest watermelon hauling opportunities, here are some more.

California’s central San Joaquin Valley is moving around 350 truck loads per week.  On the east coast, North Carolina may be your best bet loading around 230 trucks loads of watermelons a week.

Both eastern Texas and western Oklahoma combing to ship nearly 500 trucks of watermelons per week.



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Good Shipments for the 4th of July

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DSCN1324+1Good volume and produce loading opportunities are expected leading into celebrating our nation’s independence.   Here’s a look at a number of fruits and vegetables that are popular Fourth of July items.

Cherry Shipments

A 4 percent drop in cherry shipments is estimated from the previous 19.8 million boxes.   Loadings now appear to be more like 18.4 million boxes.   About 10 million boxes of cherries will be shipped during June and almost 8 million in July.

The decline is due to a compression with the bloom period, so there will be compression in harvest.  This will translate into fewer days for shipments.

Loadings for the East Coast should be especially heavy the week of Father’s Day for July 4 and Canada Day on July 1.  Heavy volume will continue the first half of  July.

Berry Shipments

Northwest blueberry shipments will be heavy, especially for the Fourth of July.  This also in the time with initial loadings will start for Michigan blueberries.

In California’s Watsonville and Salinas district, strawberry shipments were not hurt by the cool weather that resulted in quality issues with some vegetables.

Peak Watsonville strawberry shipments and other berries are occurring and will continue into mid-July.  Weekly fresh strawberry volumes exceeded 7 million trays in May, roughly on par with last year.

Blueberry, blackberry and raspberry shipments are a little early out of the Pacific Northwest.

Sweet Corn Shipments

Georgia sweet corn volume should be light through mid-June but begin increasing significantly by June 17th through the Fourth of July.  Normal shipments are seen leading into the Fourth of July.

The majority of the nation’s  sweet corn shipments leading up the Fourth, originate from Georgia

Watermelon Shipments

Georgia should begin shipping watermelons in big volume by June 15th.

Rain-caused losses in Texas, the end of Nogales, Ariz., (Mexican) season and the tail end of central Florida shipments.  All of these factors will mean excellent loading opportunities for Georgia watermelon shipments.

South Carolina should start watermelon loadings by June 24th, while North Carolina will get underway by June 29th.





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National Shipping Outlook: CA Stone Fruit, Southeastern Produce, and Watermelons

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DSCN7451West coast produce shipments are early this year, while East Coast produce shipments are running late.  Here’s a round up on loading opportunities ranging from California stone fruit, Southeastern produce shipments and watermelons.

Stone Fruit Shipments

California stone fruit shipments have started a few days earlier than normal.  Last year shipments totaled about 35 million cartons.  This year estimates are about 40 million cartons.  Apricot shipments got underway a couple of weeks ago. Good volume is expected in the days leading up to the Memorial weekend May 28-30.

Yellow nectarine shipments get underway around May 5th and yellow peach shipments will start about May 7-10.  Plum loadings kick off about June 1st.

Even at a total of 40 million cartons of the peach, plums and nectarines, California is still 20 percent below the volume it had a decade ago. A lot of fruit acreage was pulled out of the ground and replaced with nuts in first decade of this century.

Florida Produce Shipments

Unlike the early start for many California produce shipments, Florida is the opposite.  In late April, growers were beginning to ship good volume.  However, this was later than the typical mid-April start of larger shipments.  Large volumes of sweet corn shipments are seen for the month of May.  While some shippers had good volume the last week of April, other shippers will not move into good volume until the middle of May.

Florida vegetables shipments  – grossing about $3400 to New York City.

Georgia Sweet Corn Shipments

Georgia sweet corn should start shipping in small amounts from May 20 until early June, before hitting good volume.

Watermelon Shipments

Texas watermelon shipments should get underway the second week of May, while light supplies of Mexican melons continue to cross the border at McAllen.  Heavier Mexican melon volume is crossing the border at Nogales.  About 750 truck loads of Mexican watermelons crossed the border into Nogales last week, while volume continues to increase.  Florida watermelon shipments are miniscule to that at Nogales right now, but is increasing.

Mexican melons, tomatoes and vegetables at Nogales – grossing about $3200 to Chicago.

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Florida Corn, Melon Shipments have Uptick; A NW Onion Shipping Update

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DSCN6957Florida sweet corn and watermelon shipments are showing an increase, although moderate, while we take a look at onions shipments out of the Northwest.
Florida Vegetable Shipments
Sweet corn shipments and other vegetables from Florida continue to be light due to the lingering effects of seven days of  heavy rains the second week of December.  Sweet corn loadings are expected to return to normal the week of January 18th, barring other adverse weather events.  Only Florida and Mexico have sweet corn shipments during the winter months….South Florida watermelon loadings are underway, although volume is light.
Central and South Florida vegetables, tomatoes, watermelons and strawberries – grossing about $2800 to New York City.
Northwest Onion Shipments
The National Onion Association is reporting estimated nationwide production levels dropped by nearly 7.6 million bags so far this season from a year ago, a 7.7 percent decrease.  Much of that decrease is attributed to Eastern Oregon and Malhuer County, Idaho, as well as  Washington state, where production cumulatively fell by approximately 5 million bags.
While many onions that were harvested and placed into storage looking great.  The product began to show flaws three to five weeks later.   This is resulting in quality problems being higher than normal.  It also could result in a number of northwest onion shippers finishing up in March instead of late May.
Oregon/Idaho onion shipments – grossing about $4600 San Antonio.
Columbia Basin potatoes and onions – grossing about $4100 to Chicago.

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Loading Opportunities for West Texas Melons, California Oranges

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DSCN3761+1West Texas watermelons are now being loaded, plus here’s an update on California Valencia orange shipments in the latter part of the season before navels get underway.

Texas Watermelon Shipments

Watermelon shipments are underway from West Texas, with good growing conditions and rainfall report to be producing one of the regions better crops.  For example, loadings are now taking place with Warren Produce LLC, out of Brownfield, Tx.  Acreage is up a little in West Texas this season, particularly on seeded watermelon varieties.  Shipments are expected to continue through August and September.

West Texas watermelons – grossing about $2600 to Chicago.

California Orange Shipments

California valencia shippers are reporting brisk loadings of high-quality fruit after a lull the first half of August.  Volume has picked back up, especially with the kids starting back to school.   Meanwhile, the forecast for the upcoming navel shipments, initially is showing lower volume ahead due to water restrictions.

Valencia shipments have been a mixed bag this summer, as growers approach water restrictions in different ways.  Some shippers pushed heavy at the front end of the season, while others took a break and are now increasing shipments heading into fall.  Valencia shipments should be strong until early October, about two weeks before growers transition to navels.

The initial estimate of 20 million cartons of California valencias could wind up being slightly high.

Southern California citrus – grossing about $5600 to Atlanta.





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