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Shipping Apples from New York Farms

Resources > Shipping Apples from New York Farms
Apples are delicate freight and it takes a special partner to ship them. Learn more about shipping apples from New York and get your fruit on the road fast.
Published: December 17, 2019
Last Modified: August 28, 2023
Author: Ask Truckload

While apples are more durable than some other produce, they can still be exposed to damage and rot during transportation if mishandled. Because of this, caution should be used when shipping apples. With New York being one of the top apple-growing states in the U.S., many shippers are starting their journey in the “Big Apple.” In addition to federal recommendations, there are general guidelines for packing apples to ensure they remain safe and fresh while they’re being shipped. 

The USDA recommends that most apple varieties be shipped between 30° and 32°F. Variations in the acceptable temperature range can lead to chilling injury or overheating. Since apples are also odor absorbing and produce ethylene, shippers need to be careful about what else is shipped with apples. 

To get a complete view of what it takes to safely ship apples, read through our comprehensive guide below.

How to Package Apples for Shipping

As noted above, apples are a tricky fruit to ship due to a couple of unique characteristics. First, because apples easily absorb odors that they come into contact with, shippers need to be careful. Shipping apples with strong odor producing vegetables like onions or cabbage can lead to an unpleasant surprise for consumers. Apples can even absorb the smells of products that were previously shipped in a container. 

Along with other popular produce like bananas and grapes, apples produce a natural gas called ethylene.This is important because certain fruits and vegetables have a negative reaction when they come into contact with ethylene. Ethylene sensitive produce reacts by ripening at a quicker rate than normal when it’s stored in close proximity to ethylene producing food. Mixing ethylene producing and ethylene producing food together can have significant negative consequences. 

As for the packaging itself, apples are mainly transported in crates and cartons. If you use wood in your packaging materials, then it must be free from resin. Why? Because resin can sometimes taint the smell and taste of the apples when it comes into contact with it. 

Crates and cartons can help you stack your apples without damaging them. However, before you choose your packaging, make sure you take these things into consideration: 

Packaging strength

Obviously, the apple packaging has to be strong enough to protect your apples from any bumps and bruises. Shipping apples from New York can mean that your items are on the road for long periods. Just a small bump or turn can cause apples to come into contact with one another and bruise.  

Most apples are densely packed into cardboard boxes and then the boxes are palletized. They can also be packed loosely outside of a box in a large bulk container. The important detail is to be sure there is little room for the apples to move while in transit. 

Packaging size

The size of your packaging is more important than you think. First, it can impact the shipping costs. If your packaging is excessively large, then it takes up more space on a shipping container. As a result, you may have to pay more - if you share the same container with other people. 

Second, the size can damage your apples. If the crate is too big, then your apples will have more space to roll around in. As such, the chances of them bruising will increase. Instead, choose a size that keeps your apples tightly compacted together, minimizing the chances of movement. 

What Temperature are Apples Shipped at?

As well as ensuring your apples arrive on time and in one piece, you need to make sure they don’t spoil. The shipping temperature plays a key role in this. If your apples are stored at a temperature that’s too warm, then they will deteriorate quickly. On the other end, if apples are exposed to temperatures below freezing, they can experience chilling injury. Chilling injury will cause rapid acceleration of the ripening process once apples are removed from the freezing temperatures.

As we noted above, the USDA suggests that most apples should be shipped in an environment between 30 and 32°F. However, some varieties such as the Cortland, McIntosh, and Yellow New-town are recommended to ship at higher temperatures between 38 and 40°F. Regardless of the variety being shipped, using a climate-controlled vehicle is your best option. The only time a climate-controlled truck might not be used is if the apples are travelling a short distance and will be consumed quickly. 

Also, bear in mind that other produce might require a different temperature. If you have enough product to fill most of or all of a container, the safest best is to purchase the space of the entire truck. This ensures that your apples will be kept at the optimal temperature throughout their journey and won’t be negatively affected by other produce on the truck. 

What Kind of Apples Grow in New York?

The apple is the official state fruit of New York. This is largely because the conditions in New York are suitable for an extended part of the year. As such, you’ll find many kinds of apples in this state, and they grow depending on the seasons. 

Below is a list of the main apple varieties grown in New York: 

  • 20 Ounce
  • Acey Mac
  • Braeburn
  • Cameo
  • Cortland
  • Crispin
  • Empire
  • Fortune
  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • Ginger Gold
  • Golden Delicious
  • Honeycrisp
  • Idared
  • Jersey Mac
  • Jonagold 
  • Jonamac
  • Macoun
  • Mcintosh
  • Paula Red
  • Red Delicious
  • Rome
  • RubyFrost
  • SnapDragon
  • Zestar

Interestingly, apple season is essentially year-round. The only month that doesn’t see much apple growth is July. Other than that, you will have different varieties growing from August all the way through to June. Some are only available for a couple of months, while others can be grown and picked from September through to June. 

New York Apple Sales provides an apple availability checker to see what apples are in season depending on the specific month of the year. This is a good way to learn which ones are in season. Thus, you know which apples are most in-demand. 

Apples also grow in New Jersey. Learn about freight shipping from New Jersey to Texas.

Where are Apples Grown in New York?

In the state of New York, apples are grown on around 55,000 acres of land. In total, it’s believed that nearly 30 million apples are produced here every single year. There are six main areas of the state that see the majority of apple growth: 

  • Champlain Valley
  • Eastern Hudson Valley
  • Western Hudson Valley
  • Central
  • Lake Country
  • Niagara Frontier

If you were looking at a map, then it will show that these places are basically split 50/50 on the east and west sides of the state. Not a lot of apple growth happens in the central part of New York. 

When shipping apples from New York, it’s important to consider where they’re coming from. The location of the apple farms can impact things like delivery time. As such, this might increase the overall apple shipping costs. 

Shipping Apples From New York with R+L Global Logistics

When you’re ready to ship apples from New York or anywhere else, you need a trusted transportation and logistics partner. R+L Global Logistics is the partner you should work with. Our company is a full-service global logistics provider offering everything from owned and operated U.S. warehousing to global transportation options. We have the experience and knowledge needed to meet all of your shipping needs.

Shipping freight from New York is simple with R+L Global Logistics. No matter whether you need cross-country freight shipping from New York to Texas or even freight shipping from New York to California, R+L Global is prepared to offer the services you need to get it there on time and intact.

To find out more about our service or to get a quote, give us a call at (866)353-7178 or click “get a quote” below. Our transportation and logistics experts are ready to help you. 

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