How We Get An Apple Juice Box A Day – The Apple Juice Supply Chain

Apple Juice Glass

After orange juice, apple juice is the second most popular fruit drink in the world. The apple juice supply chain is crucial to bringing this beverage into US homes. The bulk of domestically harvested apples are consumed raw, therefore, most of the juice for apple beverages must be imported. Penn Intermodal Leasing, LLC’s equipment will provide equipment for you to deliver imported intermodal bulk liquids like apple juice from ports to producers in a timely and efficient manner.

Apple Juice is a Global Industry

Apples are one of the most widely distributed fruits due to their flavor and nutritional properties. They’re high in fiber, antioxidants and rich in polyphenols which are organic compounds associated with health benefits and may provide relief for symptoms of respiratory disorders, cognitive decline, and diabetes. (Transparency Market
Research). Apple juice is made up of 100% fruit juice from the maceration and pressing of apples. The juice, or cider, is transported as a liquid or a concentrate and is naturally sweet without adding syrups or sodas.

Supply and Demand in Apple Juice

The United States is the second-largest apple producer in the world. So, it may come as a surprise that, unlike orange juice which is primarily produced in the US, the majority of apple juice (85%) consumed in the US is imported. About 500 million gallons of juice are imported each year, with 70% of it imported from China (Jara Zicha). Importers are mostly offered between $7.10-$7.50 per gallon, while US apple juice is offered mostly between $7.50-$8.00 per gallon according to the USDA National Apple Processing report. Apple production in the US has decreased due to the loss of acreage, while the production of apples in China has increased due to new productive apple orchards (Jara Zicha). In 2020, the US apple juice industry revenue was $5,097.4m and is expected to grow by 7.8% over the next five years (Statista).

The Apple Juice Supply Chain

Apple juice production starts with apples that are picked, washed, sorted, then mashed, and juiced. A fresh juice with no preservatives other than refrigeration is sold locally by the farm or a nearby producer. However, in order for apple juice to be transported longer distances, the fresh juice needs to be preserved. For the most popular shelf-stable apple juice, heat treatment or preservatives are added during processing, followed by filtering, then pasteurization. Now the juice may be stored in stainless steel bulk liquid containers for transport. Juices from different regions may be transported to a central location and blended in order to create the desired flavors before bottling or boxing and sold in stores. (Root and Barrett 2005).

Why are Bulk Liquid Tank Chassis Crucial to the Apple Juice

Since most apple juice is received from imports, it must be transported to processing and packaging plants upon arrival to the US. The apple juice supply chain depends on food-grade bulk liquid storage and bulk liquid transportation equipment generally drop frame tank chassis or tank trailers. This heavy-duty equipment is designed to be efficient yet durable. Often made of a steel or aluminum frame to promote stability and fuel economy, they are used to transport most food grade bulk liquids including milk, wine, and juice. Specially designed compartmentalized tanks may carry multiple food grade liquids or separate batches of the same liquid in one trip. In their 2003 Guidance on Bulk Transport of Juice Concentrates and Certain Shelf-Stable Juices, the FDA gives detailed guidelines on how to transport apple juice without contaminating or recontaminating the product including which containers and bulk liquid storage equipment should be used in the processing and bulk liquid transportation of apple juice.

Call Penn Intermodal Leasing, LLC for Bulk Liquid Transport

For leasing reliable equipment near key US ports specializing in food grade and bulk liquids imports, contact Penn Intermodal at 888-909-PENN for fast friendly service and knowledgeable industry expertise. View locations or contact us now.


April Uhlenburg
April U

April has been working with Penn Intermodal’s Sales and Operations teams to educate clients on the benefits of leasing chassis for bulk liquid storage and transport since 2012.