Florida Gift Fruit Shippers Association
When The Orange Shop opened for business in 1936, the Gift Fruit packages were all shipped by railway express. The railroads set up special programs to accept the packages at a local railway express terminal, and then would transport the fruit to the vicinity of the destination, then the US Postal Service would deliver the fruit to the home of the recipient.
To negotiate favorable terms, the Gift Fruit shippers joined together and formed a cooperative to improve the relationship with the railroads. The Florida Gift Fruit Shippers Association was formed in 1946, only ten years after The Orange Shop opened for business. Later, the Association migrated the delivery system to trucks, and began to represent the Gift Fruit shipper members in a number of ways. It has remained the primary method of shipping citrus gift packages from Florida -- they were in business when Pete was born. So, in every fruit season of our entire lives, the Association has delivered Florida Citrus to people all over the country, and no changes are anticipated. In a world where things change fast, that solid legacy is pretty comforting.
We still ship our fruit through the Association. Why? Because it remains the fastest, safest way to deliver your fruit. On shipping day, every Association member packs for a certain set of zip codes, and the Association picks up the fruit at the packinghouses. Every member's fruit is then consolidated at our shipping terminal in Orlando and loaded on line-haul refrigerated trucks. They haul the fruit non-stop to terminals near the destinations, and then turn them over to the US Post Office for final delivery. By line-hauling, we ensure that the fruit will move as far into the delivery network as possible before, which skips a number of handling stops that would be necessary if we shipped directly with the Post Office, Fedex or UPS.
Since the Association is a private coop, there isn't a feature that allows people to access our data. So, if you need any information such as tracking or delivery information, just give us a call at The Shop and we'll look it up for you.
Just thought you'd like to know how your fruit is delivered. It's an interesting story. We put together a little slideshow of some of the history, and featuring many of the people who have been influential in the growth of the Association, and in our lives on a personal level.