U.S. truck shipments of fresh produce totaled 8.9 million tons in the second quarter, up 24 percent from the first quarter and 1 percent higher year-over-year, according to a new report.
Shipments from California accounted for nearly 2.8 million metric tons, or 31 percent of the total reported shipments of fresh fruits and vegetables during the second quarter, according to the Agricultural Refrigerated Truck Quarterly, published by the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Shipments from Mexico totaled more than 2.1 million metric tons. Florida accounted for 1.1 million metric tons, or 15 percent of the total. The Pacific Northwest, with 986,000 metric tons, held a 14 percent share.
The top five commodities, accounting for 46 percent of the reported truck movements during the quarter, were watermelon, 12 percent; potatoes, 10 percent; lettuce, 9 percent; tomatoes, 8 percent; and onions, 7 percent.
The second quarter 2012 average truck rate for U.S. produce shipments was $2.62 per mile, 22 percent higher than the previous quarter, but only 1 percent higher than last year. The average monthly rate reached a quarterly peak in June at $2.75 per mile.
The highest average reported rates per mile in the second quarter ranged from $2.02 to $4.37 for apple shipments from the Pacific Northwest region. Rates for onions from California were the lowest.
Truck rates for crossings from Mexico through Arizona averaged $2.51 per mile, 18 percent higher than the previous quarter, but 1 percent lower than the same quarter last year.
Border crossings through Texas averaged $2.36 per mile, up 11 percent from the previous quarter and 7 percent higher than the same quarter last year.
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