Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ; 266
Title: A study of the cost of handling citrus fruit from the tree to the car in Florida
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026394/00001
 Material Information
Title: A study of the cost of handling citrus fruit from the tree to the car in Florida
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 72 p. : ill., charts, maps, plans ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Hamilton, H. G ( Henry Glenn ), b. 1895
Brooker, Marvin A ( Marvin Adel ), 1903-1997
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1934
 Subjects
Subject: Citrus fruits -- Handling -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Citrus fruits -- Costs   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by H.G. Hamilton and Marvin A. Brooker.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "In cooperation with the Division of Resident Teaching, College of Agriculture, University of Florida"--T.p.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026394
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000924127
oclc - 18206771
notis - AEN4733
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HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida







April, 1934


"'I-


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
Wilmon Newell, Director
(In Cooperation with the Division of Resident Teaching, College of
Agriculture, University of Florida)










A STUDY OF THE COST OF HANDLING

CITRUS FRUIT FROM THE TREE

TO THE CAR IN FLORIDA


By

H. G. HAMILTON and MARVIN A. BROKER


Bulletins will be sent free upon application to the
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION,
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA.


Bulletin 266








EXECUTIVE STAFF
John J. Tigert, M.A., LL.D., President of the
University
Wilmon Newell, D.Sc., Director
H. Harold Hume, M.S., Asst. Dir., Research
Harold Mowry, B.S.A., Asst. Dir., Adm.
J. Francis Cooper, M.S.A., Editor
R. M. Fulghum, B.S.A., Assistant Editor
Ida Keeling Cresap, Librarian
Ruby Newhall, Administrative Manager
K. H. Graham, Business Manager
Rachel McQuarrie, Accountant


MAIN STATION, GAINESVILLE

AGRONOMY
W. E. Stokes, M.S., Agronomist**
W. A. Leukel, Ph.D., Agronomist
G. E. Ritchey, M.S.A., Associate*
Fred H. Hull, M.S., Associate
W. A. Carver, Ph.D., Associate
John P. Camp, M.S., Assistant

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
A. L. Shealy, D.V.M., Animal Husbandman**
R. B. Becker, Ph.D., Specialist in Dairy Hus-
bandry
W. M. Neal, Ph.D., Associate in Animal Nutri-
tion
D. A. Sanders, D.V.M., Veterinarian
M. W. Emmel, D.V.M., Assistant Veterinarian
W. W. Henley, B.S.A., Assistant Animal Hus-
bandman
P. T. Dix Arnold, B.S.A., Assistant in Dairy In-
vestigations

CHEMISTRY AND SOILS
R. W. Ruprecht, Ph.D., Chemist**
R. M. Barnette, Ph.D., Chemist
C. E. Bell, Ph.D., Associate
H. W. Winsor, B.S.A., Assistant
H. W. Jones, M.S., Assistant

ECONOMICS, AGRICULTURAL
C. V. Noble. Ph.D., Agricultural Economist**
Bruce McKinley, A.B., B.S.A., Associate
M. A. Brooker, Ph.D., Associate
Zach Savage, M.S.A., Assistant

ECONOMICS, HOME
Ouida Davis Abbott, Ph.D., Specialist**
L. W. Gaddum, Ph.D., Biochemist
C. F. Ahmann, Ph.D., Physiologist

ENTOMOLOGY
I. R. Watson, A.M., Entomologist**
A. N. Tissot, Ph.D., Associate
H. E. Bratley, M.S.A, Assistant

HORTICULTURE
A. F. Camp, Ph.D., Horticulturist**
M. R. Ensign, M.S., Associate
A. L. Stahl, Ph.D., Associate
G. H. Blackmon, M.S.A., Pecan Culturist
Roy J. Wilmot, M.S.A., Specialist, Fumigation
Research
R. D. Dickey, Assistant Horticulturist

PLANT PATHOLOGY
W. B. Tisdale, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist**
George F. Weber, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
R. K. Voorhees, M.S., Assistant
Erdman West, M.S., Mycologist
*In cooperation with U.S.D.A.
**Head of Department.


BOARD OF CONTROL

Geo. H. Baldwin, Chairman, Jacksonville
A. H. Blanding, Bartow
A. H. Wagg. West Palm Beach
Oliver J. Semmes, Pensacola
Harry C. Duncan, Tavares
J. T. Diamond, Secretary, Tallahassee


BRANCH STATIONS

NORTH FLORIDA STATION, QUINCY
L. O. Gratz, Ph.D., Plant.Pathologist in Charge
R. R. Kincaid, M.S., Asst. Plant Pathologist
J. D. Warner, M.S., Associate Agronomist
R. M. Crown, B.S.A., Assistant Agronomist
Jesse Reeves, Farm Superintendent
CITRUS STATION, LAKE ALFRED
John H. Jefferies, Superintendent
Geo. D. Ruehle, Ph.D., Associate Plant Pathol-
ogist
W. A. Kuntz, A.M., Associate Plant Pathologist
B. R. Fudge, Ph.D., Associate Chemist
W. L. Thompson, B.S., Assistant Entomologist
EVERGLADES STATION, BELLE GLADE
A. Daane, Ph.D., Agronomist in Charge
R. N. Lobdell, M.S., Entomologist
F. D. Stevens, B.S., Sugarcane Agronomist
G. R. Townsend, Ph.D., Asst. Plant Pathologist
B. A. Bourne, Ph.D., Sugarcane Physiologist
J. R. Neller, Ph.D., Biochemist
R. W. Kidder, B.S., Asst. Animal Husbandman
Ross E. Robertson, B.S., Assistant Chemist
SUB-TROPICAL STATION, HOMESTEAD
H. S. Wolfe, Ph.D., Horticulturist in Charge
W. M. Fifield, M.S., Assistant Horticulturist
Stacy O. Hawkins, M.A., Assistant Plant
Pathologist
WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA STATION,
BROOKSVILLE
W. F. Ward, Asst. Animal Husbandman in
Charge*



FIELD STATIONS

Leesburg
M. N. Walker, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist in
Charge
W. B. Shippy, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Pathologist
K. W. Loucks, M.S., Asst. Plant Pathologist
J. W. Wilson, Ph.D., Associate Entomologist
C. C. Goff, M.S., Assistant Entomologist
Plant City
A. N. Brooks, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
R. E. Nolen, M.S.A., Asst. Plant Pathologist

Cocoa
A. S. Rhoads, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
Hastings
A. H. Eddins, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Pathologist

Monticello
,Assistant Entomologist

Bradenton
David G. Kelbert. Asst. Plant Pathologist

Sanford
E. R. Purvis, Ph.D., Assistant Chemist, Celery
Investigations








CONTENTS
PAGE
VOLUME OF FRUIT HANDLED ....................................... 6
DEVELOPMENT OF THE CITRUS INDUSTRY IN FLORIDA ................... 9
INVESTMENT IN PACKING FACILITIES ............................... 10
THE COST OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT FROM THE TREE TO THE CAR FOR
THE SEASON 1931-32 ............................................ 12
L abor .................................................... 14
Management ............................................... 17
O office .................................................... 17
Packinghouse and land...................................... 17
Packing equipment ........................................ 20
Field equipment ............................................ 20
Other equipment ........................................... 20
Light, water and power ...................................... 20
M materials .................................................. 20
Other costs ................................................ 22
Total packinghouse cost................... ........................ 22
Picking .................................................... 22
H auling ................................................. 23
Total handling cost ......................................... 23
Bulk fruit cost ............................................. 23
Pre-cooling cost ............................... ........... 24
CHANGES IN COST OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT FROM 1924-25 TO 1931-32.. 24

COST OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT IN DIFFERENT SECTIONS OF THE STATE. 26

FACTORS AFFECTING THE COST OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT ............. 28
Volume of fruit per packinghouse ............................ 31
Volume of fruit per patron .................................. 36
Investment per packinghouse ................................ 36
Investm ent per box ....................................... 38
Investment per car capacity and volume per car capacity......... 39
Relation of type of construction to investment in building and land 41
Size of packinghouse based on daily car capacity ............... 43
Days operated and use of house while operating ................ 45
Percent of packed fruit represented by grapefruit .............. 48
Owned and rented plants ..................................... 49
Arrangement of packinghouses and equipment ................. 51
One-unit and two-unit packinghouses. .......................... 61
Relation of miles hauled to the cost of hauling ................. 63

THE COST OF COLORING CITRUS FRUIT ............................... 64

THE COST OF PRE-COOLING CITRUS FRUIT ............................ 67

SUMMARY ...................................................... 71









Carload.

80000 i-r


50000


30000




20000




10000





1I





Pounam


Trend .easo. 1899-1900 191-32 *












899-1900 1904-05 1909-10 1914-15 1919-20 1924-25 1929-30

Fig. I.-Trend of car-lot shipments of citrus fruit from Florida,
seasons 1899-1900 to 1931-32, inclusive.


ds


50












Y- .831X 19
80 ----- ----- ----_ ------------ ---




40 ----_ _-- ----- ---_- ----- ---------


1899-1900 1904-05 1909-10 1914-15 9199-20 1924-25 1929-30

Fig. 2.-Per capital consumption of oranges and grapefruit in the
United States (Florida and California excluded), seasons 1899-1900 to
1931-32, inclusive. The increase was nearly 500 percent.









A STUDY OF THE COST OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT
FROM THE TREE TO THE CAR IN FLORIDA

By H. G. HAMILTON* and MARVIN A. BROKER

The present study was undertaken for the purpose of revising
the information contained in Station Bulletin 202, that has for
some time been out of print. This bulletin had as its stated pur-
pose: "(1) Analyzing the facilities for handling citrus fruit in
Florida, and (2) Determining the cost and the factors influencing
the cost of handling citrus fruit." It was known that there had
been a great increase in the movement of fruit in bulk, both by
rail and by motor truck, and that a large number of pre-cooling
plants had been installed since the original study was made. It
was known, also, that many packinghouses had installed labor-
saving devices, and found other methods of reducing their costs.
Consequently, it was thought better to revise the study completely
in the light of these developments than to reprint the former
bulletin.
The present study was based upon data secured from the books
of 125 packinghouses covering cost of operation for the season
1931-32, while the former study included data from 99 packing-
houses for the season 1924-25 and 95 packinghouses for the
season 1925-26. All types of packinghouses, large and small,
cooperative and independent, efficient and inefficient, were in-
cluded all three years. In most cases, records were sufficiently
complete that few estimates were required, except in breaking up
certain items of cost into greater detail.
In a large number of cases the same packinghouses were in-
cluded for all three seasons. However, due to losses by fire,
consolidation and other reasons, some houses cease to operate
every year and others open, so it was thought better to base the
study on a representative sample each year than to use only the
firms for which information was available for all three of the
years.
Acknowledgments:-The writers wish to express their appreciation to the
officials of the packinghouse firms who furnished the information which made
this study possible, and to make special mention of the fine spirit of cooper-
ation and interest which they manifested throughout. Much credit is also
due Dr. C. V. Noble, under whose direction this study was made.

*Associate Professor of Marketing, College of Agriculture, University
of Florida.


f,







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


VOLUME OF FRUIT HANDLED
The volume of fruit handled by the packinghouses studied and
the percentage this represented of the total state volume for
each of the three seasons is shown in Table I.

TABLE I.-PROPORTION OF THE TOTAL COMMERCIAL CITRUS PRODUCTION
OF THE STATE HANDLED BY THE PACKINGHOUSES INCLUDED IN THIS STUDY.

Number Commercial Volume by Percent
Season of production packing- of
packing- of houses total
houses state studied volume
Boxes Boxes
1924-25 ................ .. 99 19,171,440 8,822,137 46.0
1925-26................ -95 14,694,120 6,140,018 41.8
1931-32................ 125 18,900,000 13,002,570 68.8



The volume of fruit handled per packinghouse was greater in
1931-32 than in either of the earlier years studied (Table II).
The volume of fruit packed per packinghouse was slightly less in
1931-32 than in 1924-25, but the volume of bulk fruit handled
was 8.5 times as large. The total volume of fruit handled per
packinghouse was less in 1925-26 than in either of the other
years, due to the smaller total crop of that year.
Bulk fruit made up 2.9 percent of the fruit handled by the
packinghouses studied in 1924-25. In 1925-26 the percentage
was 3.6, while in 1931-32 the volume of bulk fruit had increased
to 21.1 percent of the total. Assuming that bulk fruit was handled
in the state as a whole in the same proportion as by the 125 pack-
inghouses studied, almost 4,000,000 boxes of fruit were handled
in bulk in 1931-32.
The method of disposal of this bulk fruit in 1931-32 is indicated
in Table III. It was found that of the total volume of 2,743,153
boxes of bulk fruit handled by the 125 packinghouses, 54.5 per-
cent was shipped by rail, 36 percent by motor truck, and 9.5 per-
cent was sent to canneries. Applying these percentages to the
estimated total state volume handled in bulk would indicate that
in 1931-32 the state shipped 2,173,406 boxes of bulk fruit by rail
and 1,435,644 boxes by motor truck. The Federal-State Market
News Service reported 429,058 boxes of fruit shipped by motor
truck from September 1 to December 31, 1931. A little more






TABLE II.-VOLUME OF FRUIT HANDLED BY PACKINGHOUSES STUDIED.


1924-25


1925-26


1931-32


Number of packinghouses.... 99 95 125

Total Average per Total Average per Total Average per
volume packinghouse volume packinghouse volume packinghouse
Packed boxes grapefruit...... 4,097,604 41,390 2,666,619 28,070 4,358,377 34,867
Packed boxes oranges........ 4,052,084 40,930 2,976,889 31,336 4,905,543 39,244
Packed boxes tangerines..... 416,541 4,207 276,984 2,915 995,497 7,964

Total packed boxes ........ 8,566,229 86,527 5,920,492 62,321 10,259,417 82,075
Bulk boxes ............... 255,908 2,585 219,526 2,311 2,743,153 21,945

Total boxes all fruit..... 8,822,137 89,112 6,140,018 64,632 13,002,570 104,020


TABLE III.-DISPOSITION OF FRUIT BY 125 PACKINGHOUSES, SEASON 1931-32.

Packed Bulk, boxes Total

Percent Percent Percent
Boxes of Rail Truck Cannery Total of Boxes of
total total total
Oranges ............... 4,905,543 47.8 891,742 615,371 4,694 1,511,807 55.1 6,417,350 49.4
Grapefruit................ 4,358,377 42.5 552,799 310,201 253,652 1,116,652 40.7 5,475,029 42.1
Tangerines............... 995,497 9.7 51,406 62,346 942 114,694 4.2 1,110,191 8.5

Total ............... 10,259,417 100.0 1,495,947 987,918 259,288 2,743,153 100.0 13,002,570 100.0

Percent of total....... 78.9 ..... 11.5 7.6 2.0 21.1 ..... 100.0 ..


I .










TABLE IV.-NUMBER OF GRAPEFRUIT, ORANGE AND TANGERINE TREES IN FLORIDA.*

1890 1900 1910 1920

Grapefruit Oranges1 Grapefruit Oranges' Grapefruit Oranges' Grapefruit Oranges'

Bearing ................... 3,135 2,725,272 117,336 2,552,542 656,213 2,789,852 1,681,481 3,684,327

Non-bearing ............... 11,268 7,408,543 not given 600,049 1,101,735 963,336 2,341,341

Total ................. 14,403 10,133,815 ........ ........ 1,256,262 3,891,587 2,644,817 6,025,668

Percent bearing........ 21.8 26.9 ........ ....... 52.2 71.7 63.6 61.1



1928 1931

Grapefruit Oranges Tangerines Grapefruit Oranges Tangerines

Bearing.................. 5,189,679 10,846,932 1,149,490 5,803,326 13,160,817 1,870,850

Non-bearing............... 402,508 2,813,529 527,552 608,942 1,388,257 117,044

Total ................ 5,592,187 13,660,461 1,677,042 6,412,268 14,549,074 1,987,894

Percent bearing......... 92.8 79.4 68.5 90.5 90.5 94.1

*Data for 1890 to 1920, inclusive, from United States Census of Agriculture. Data for 1928 and 1931 are from actual
counts made by the State Plant Board of Florida during inspections over four-year and three-year periods ending with the
two dates, respectively.
1Includes tangerines.







Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 9

than one-third (34.3 percent) of the total citrus crop was moved
during that period.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE CITRUS INDUSTRY IN FLORIDA
The citrus industry in Florida is by no means new, but its
greatest development has occurred in a relatively short period of
time. The number of bearing and non-bearing citrus trees in
Florida at census dates from 1890 to 1920, inclusive, and the
number counted by the State Plant Board in actual inspections
during periods ending in 1928 and 1931 are shown in Table IV.
The number of bearing grapefruit trees increased constantly
throughout the period, and the increase was especially rapid
from 1910 to 1928. The number of bearing orange trees was
less in 1900 than in 1890 due to two freezes during that interval,
but the increase was constant from 1900 to 1931, inclusive.
The greatest number of non-bearing grapefruit trees was found
in 1920 and the highest percentage of bearing grapefruit trees
in 1928. The greatest number of non-bearing orange trees was
found in 1890 before the severe freezes of 1895 and 1899, but the
greatest number since these freezes was found in 1928. The
highest percentage of bearing orange trees was recorded in 1931.
The trend of car-lot shipments of citrus fruit from Florida
since 1900 has been distinctly upward. The rate of increase
since 1918 has been more rapid than for the entire period (Fig. 1).
The per capital consumption of oranges and grapefruit in the
United States has increased steadily since 1900, but at a lower
rate than the increase in car-lot shipments (Fig. 2). During the
season 1899-1900, the per capital consumption of oranges and
grapefruit combined was about seven pounds, while in 1931-32
it was about 34 pounds, or an increase of nearly 500 percent.
During the period the increase was about .8 of a pound of fruit
per person per year.
The location of the citrus industry in Florida is shown by the
map of car-lot shipments for the 1931-32 season, Fig. 3. The
shipments from Escambia and Jackson counties were of Sat-
sumas, while the one carload from Columbia County was probably
due to an over-supply of fruit at a centralization point for motor
trucks. The car-lot shipments data shown in Fig. 3 do not include
shipments by motor truck.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


Fig. 3.-Car-lot shipments of citrus
fruit from Florida by counties, season
1931-32. (Total for State, 44,529 cars.)
These figures do not include movement
of fruit by truck, most of which origi-
nated in the northern part of the citrus
belt.


INVESTMENT IN PACKING FACILITIES


The State Department of Agriculture lists 369 packinghouses
as applying for licenses to operate under the Green Fruit Law in
1931-32. Under this law a packinghouse is defined as follows:
"A packinghouse shall be construed to be any structure prepared
for and used for packing or otherwise preparing citrus fruit for
market or transportation." Under this definition any roadside
stand for selling bulk fruit to motor trucks would be considered
a packinghouse. Also, packinghouses concerned mainly with
handling vegetables but handling some citrus fruit would be listed
as citrus packinghouses. A map with dots showing the location
of these 369 packinghouses would give a distorted picture of the
location of the citrus area in Florida, since it would show far
too great an accumulation of packinghouses in the northern part
of the citrus area where motor trucks stop for their loads rather
than go additional miles into the citrus belt.
An average of the investment in these 369 packinghouses also
would give an improper conception of the investment in real








Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 11

packinghouses. Roadside stands which do no packing and
simply act as assembling points to supply motor trucks were not
included in the studies of packinghouse costs. Only houses doing
a bona fide packing business were included, although among these,
large and small, efficient and inefficient houses were included.
A schedule of the investments in fixed assets was obtained
from each of the firms visited in 1924-25, 1925-26 and 1931-32,
that a charge might be made for interest on the investment and

TABLE V.-FIXED INVESTMENT OWNED BY 125 CITRUS PACKINGHOUSES,
SEASON 1931-32.

Average
Number Average Percent investment
Items having Total for 125 of total for packing-
this packing- invest- houses
item houses ment having
this item

Packinghouse and land. 118 $3,210,273.42 $25,682.19 46.5 $27,205.71
Packing equipment.... 122 2,277,809.45 18,222.47 33.0 18,670.57
Field equipment....... 119 389,012.70 3,112.10 5.6 3,269.01
Office investment...... 97 156,862.35 1,254.90 2.3 1,617.14
Other equipment...... 64 365,347.69 2,922.78 5.3 5,708.56
Pre-cooling plant...... 37 505,702.14 4,045.62 7.3 13,667.63
Total fixed investment. 1241 $6,905,007.75 $55,240.06 100.0 $55,685.55

'One packinghouse had no investment in fixed assets.

TABLE VI.-FIXED INVESTMENT OWNED BY 99 PACKINGHOUSES IN 1924-25
AND 95 PACKINGHOUSES IN 1925-26.

1924-25 1925-26
Average Average
Number investment Number investment
Items having for packing- having for packing-
this houses this houses
item having item having
this item this item
Packinghouse and land................ 91 $20,598.96 79 $19,843.38
Office building ...................... 7 3,660.15 7 3,946.96
Manager's house ..................... 6 3,059.76 5 3,099.57
Camp and other buildings ............. 16 2,865.57 14 2,954.16
Packinghouse equipment .............. 95 12,274.75 87 11,049.85
Field equipment ..................... 97 2,902.52 93 2,533.10
Office equipment ..................... 73 769.86 66 746.28
Pre-cooling plant. ..................... 11 16,682.65 9 19,219.52
Sprinkler system .................. .. 9 9,580.01 8 9,932.88
Side track........................... 33 1,071.37 28 1,022.80
M iscellaneous........................ 8 849.16 7 220.35
Total fixed investment.............. 99 $38,182.40 95 $33,483.17







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


the total investment expense computed. The total investments,
grouped into major classes, for the season 1931-32 are shown in
Table V, and for the seasons 1924-25 and 1925-26 in Table VI.
For the season 1931-32, 79.5 percent of the total owned invest-
ment was in packinghouses, land and packing equipment. A
little more than 7 percent of the total owned investment was in
pre-cooling plants, while the remaining 13 percent was in field,
office and other equipment. This distribution was not greatly
different from that of the seasons 1924-25 and 1925-26. The
average owned investment per firm, however, was approximately
47 percent greater in the 125 firms included for 1931-32 than
for the 99 firms included for 1924-25. In neither case does the
investment include automobiles and motor trucks.

THE COST OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT FROM THE TREE
TO THE CAR FOR THE SEASON 1931-32
The costs involved in handling 13,002,570 boxes of citrus fruit
in 125 packinghouses during the 1931-32 season are shown in
detail in Table VII.
All items of cost were allocated either to packed fruit or to
bulk fruit or divided between the two classes. In the case of
certain items, as for instance packing labor, the entire cost was
incurred by one class of fruit and so the allocation could be made
direct to the class for which the expenditure was made. There
were many items of cost, however, such as grading, management,
taxes and other overhead costs, which were joint costs incurred
by all fruit passing through the packinghouse. These items of
cost were divided between packed fruit and bulk fruit in propor-
tion to the volume of packed and bulk fruit handled.
All pre-cooling costs were separated from the other handling
costs and allocated to cost of pre-cooling. These costs are treated
in detail in a separate section.
The costs of coloring, brogdexing and stamping were included
in the cost of handling packed and bulk fruit. Coloring costs
were separated from other costs, however, for a number of pack-
inghouses and are treated in detail in a later section.
The average cost of handling packed fruit from the tree to
the car for the 125 packinghouses studied in 1931-32, excluding
the cost of pre-cooling, was $0.759 per box. Of this total, the
cost of labor constituted 20 percent; management, 4.9 percent;
office, 3.2 percent; packinghouse and land, 4.9 percent; packing








Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 13

TABLE VII.-ITEMIZED COSTS OF HANDLING PACKED CITRUS FRUIT, AND
TOTAL BULK AND PRE-COOLING COSTS IN 125 PACKINGHOUSES, SEASON 1931-32.

Percent
that
Total cost Average Average each
for 125 cost per cost per item is of
packing- packing- packed total
houses house box cost for
packed
fruit

Labor:
Packing .......................... 591,450.58 $4,731.61 $ 0.058 7.59
Grading .......................... 172,925.82 1,383.41 .017 2.22
Box making and labeling............ 101,440.71 811.52 .010 1.30
Nailing on tops .................... 90,715.66 725.72 .009 1.17
Loading .......................... 88,161.03 705.29 .008 1.13
Houseforeman .................... 119,382.32 955.06 .012 1.53
Other floor labor ................... 397,698.64 3,181.59 .039 5.10
Totallabor ..................... 1,561,774.76 12,494.20 .153 20.04

Management:
Manager's salary and bonus......... 294,297.90 2,354.39 .029 3.78
Officers' and other salaries........... 23,348.68 186.79 .002 .30
Traveling expense ................. 60,127.66 481.02 .006 .77
Otherexpense..................... 1,157.73 9.26 .01
Total management ............... 378,931.97 3,031.46 .037 4.86

Office:
Office salaries ...................... 167,742.13 1,341.94 .016 2.15
Telephone and telegraph ............ 32,381.84 259.06 .003 .42
Office building and equipment........ 20,647.42 165.18 .002 .26
Supplies and other expense .......... 27,028.02 216.22 .003 .35
Total office...................... 247,799.41 1,982.40 .024 3.18

Packinghouse and land:
Taxes ............................. 34,509.16 276.07 .003 .44
Interest and rent .................. 200,310.06 1,602.48 .020 2.57
Insurance......................... 33,628.46 269.03 .003 .43
Depreciation ...................... 88,107.38 704.86 .009 1.13
Repairs ........................... 25,314.76 202.52 .002 .33
Total packinghouse and land....... 381,869.82 3,054.96 .037 4.90

Packing equipment:
Taxes ............................. 22,057.01 176.46 .002 .28
Interest and rent.................. 142,770.83 1,142.17 .014 1.83
Insurance......................... 32,754.32 262.03 .003 .42
Depreciation ...................... 159,291.71 1,274.33 .015 2.05
Repairs ........................... 109,394.19 875.15 .011 1.41
Total packing equipment.......... 466,268.06 3,730.14 .045 5.99

Field equipment:
Taxes ............................. 3,811.18 30.49 .05
Interest and rent. .................. 21,241.85 169.94 .002 .27
Insurance.......................... 5,875.04 47.00 .001 .08
Depreciation ....................... 55,774.94 446.20 .005 .72
Repairs............................ 51,801.73 414.41 .005 .66
Total field equipment. ............. 138,504.74 1,108.04 .013 1.78








Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


TABLE VII.-ITEMIZED COSTS OF HANDLING PACKED CITRUS FRUIT, AND
TOTAL BULK AND PRE-COOLING COSTS IN 125 PACKINGHOUSES, SEASON 1931-32.
(Concluded).

Percent
that
Total cost Average Average each
for 125 cost per cost per item is of
packing- packing- packed total
houses house box cost for
packed
fruit

Other equipment:
Taxes.. ........................ $ 2,339.77 $ 18.72 .03
Interest and rent .................. 31,277.38 250.22 $ 0.003 .40
Insurance.......................... 2,635.79 21.09 .03
Depreciation....................... 17,659.42 141.27 .002 .23
Repairs. .......................... 884.71 7.08 .01
Total other equipment............ 54,797.07 438.38 .005 .70
Light, water and power ............... 110,259.03 882.07 .011 1.42
Materials:
Containers ........................ 1,917,320.18 15,338.56 .187 24.61
Paper. .................. ......... 728,544.93 5,828.36 .071 9.35
Nails, straps and strips........... .. 148,937.01 1,191.50 .015 1.91
Labels and paste ................... 51,474.50 411.79 .005 .66
Other materials .................... 12,180.02 97.44 .001 .16
Total materials................... 2,858,456.64 22,867.65 .279 36.69
Other costs.......................... 216,708.25 1,733.66 .021 2.78

Total packinghouse costs .............. $6,415,369.75 $51,322.96 $ 0.625 82.34
Picking............................. 742,437.56 5,939.50 .072 9.53
Hauling .................. ........ 633,875.02 5,071.00 .062 8.13
Total cost of handling packed fruit..... $7,791,682.33 $62,333.46 $ 0.759 100.0
Total cost of handling bulk fruit ....... $1,162,038.17 $ 9,296.31 $ 0.424 ......
Total cost of pre-cooling per box pre-
cooled. ................. ..... $ 211,343.03$ 1,690.74 $ 0.085 ......

*Less than one-tenth of one cent.

equipment, 6 percent; materials, 36.7 percent; and picking and
hauling, 17.7 percent. Total house cost was more than four-
fifths of the total cost of handling packed citrus fruit. The cost
of picking averaged 1 cent per box more than the cost of hauling.

LABOR

The cost of labor in the packinghouse made up 20 percent of
the cost of handling packed citrus fruit in 1931-32. There were







Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 15

two types of labor used, namely, day or hour labor and contract
or "piece" labor.
The most important item of labor cost was for packing. This
was almost universally at a stipulated rate per box, depending
upon wage rates in the community, size and type of fruit and
quality of the pack. Different rates were always paid for pack-
ing oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, and often allowances
were made for the different sizes within each class of fruit. The
cost of packing labor in 1931-32 ranged from 3.8 cents to 13.2
cents and averaged 5.8 cents per box.
The job of grading is very important and requires a great deal
of skill and knowledge of fruit. Graders were almost always
employed by the hour, the amount paid depending largely on the
efficiency of the graders, varying almost as much in the same
packinghouse as for different packinghouses. The number of
graders varies widely, depending on their efficiency and on the
volume and quality of fruit. The cost of grading averaged 1.7
cents per box in 1931-32, or 2.2 percent of the total cost of
handling packed citrus fruit.
Box making and labeling, nailing on tops and loading on the
cars were usually paid by the piece. A number of firms con-
tracted all these jobs to some individual who would sub-let the
work to employees of his own. In most cases, however, a given
rate was paid by the packing firm for each job. The rate for box
making varied widely because some firms owned box machines
while others had their boxes made entirely by hand labor. Box
making averaged 1 cent per box, nailing on tops .9 cent per box,
and loading on cars averaged .8 cent per box for the 1931-32
season.
The duties of the packinghouse foreman include the general
supervision over all operations within the house. In large pack-
inghouses, part of the supervision is delegated to responsible
laborers. Some have a packer supervisor, who relieves the fore-
man of most of the packing supervision. Others have a trained
mechanic who supervises the machinery and house equipment.
There is usually a head grader who is responsible for carrying
out instructions as to the grades adopted. In small packing-
houses, the foreman does all the supervision and works part of
the time as a laborer. The average cost of the house foreman
in 1931-32 was 1.2 cents per box, or 1.5 percent of the total cost
of handling packed citrus fruit.










Fig. 4.-Variation in cost of labor other than for packing, 125 packinghouses, season 1931-32.


. . . ......... ..... ........... H l h .
IIIIIII IIIIIIIII IIIIIIN







Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 17

Other floor labor cost, which consisted of receiving and dumping
the fruit, trucking in the loaded field boxes and removing empties,
disposal of culls, mechanic hire and miscellaneous labor about
the house amounted to 3.9 cents per box, or about one-fourth of
the total house labor cost for packed fruit. Most of this labor
was employed by the day or hour.
The cost of all floor labor other than packing ranged from 5.4
cents to 29.1 cents with an average of 9.5 cents per box for the
125 packinghouses studied in 1931-32 (Fig. 4).

MANAGEMENT
The cost of management accounted for almost 5 percent of the
total cost of handling packed citrus fruit from the tree to the
car in 1931-32. The biggest item of management cost was the
manager's salary and bonus, but salaries of officials, traveling
expense and some other miscellaneous costs, such as a home for
the manager, were allocated to management cost. There was
considerable variation in the cost of management, the range
being from 1 cent to 25.4 cents per box (Fig. 5). The average
cost of management was 3.7 cents per box.
Duties of the manager extend over all operations from the tree
to the car. During the harvest season, he must see that fruit
of the patrons is harvested at the proper time, that costs are
kept down, that proper records are kept, and that the fruit is sold.
Besides this, he must solicit business from the grower, and often
he must do advisory work along production lines. He must have
some knowledge of machinery, so that he can see that the building
and machinery are properly arranged, operated and kept in repair.

OFFICE
Office cost amounted to 3.2 percent of the total cost of handling
packed citrus fruit in 1931-32. This amounted to 2.4 cents per
box, of which 1.6 cents was for office salaries. Telephone and
telegraph expense of .3 cent per box was allocated to office cost.
Office building and equipment cost and office supplies averaged
one-half cent per box.
PACKINGHOUSE AND LAND
The cost of packinghouse and land was composed of taxes,
interest on the investment in building and land at 7 percent, rent,
insurance, depreciation, and repairs. Often the payment for taxes
and insurance was made in lump amounts, and in such cases the












Cents
per
Box



25
0
tM











N
210 ----------------------------------------------------------- .
-t






Fon









Fig. 5.-Variation in cost of management, 125 packinghouses, season 1931-32.




Cents
per
Box





35 N











20
10 .. ---- ....--------------------------------------------------------------





I -I

Co












C---












Fig. 6.-Variation in total fixed investment expense, 125 packinghouses, season 1931-32.
a3














Fig.6.-Varatin i totl fsedinvstmnt epene, 25 acknghoses seson103-32







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


manager estimated the amount to be charged to building, pack-
ing equipment, and so on, or the total was distributed on the basis
of the amount invested in these assets. The total packinghouse
and land cost in 1931-32 amounted to 3.7 cents per box.
PACKING EQUIPMENT
The cost of packing equipment was determined in the same
way as for the building and land. This cost amounted to 4.5
cents per box, or 6 percent of the total cost of handling packed
citrus fruit in 1931-32.
FIELD EQUIPMENT
There was a wide range in field equipment cost. Ladders, field
boxes, picking bags, clippers and various other items used in the
groves for harvesting composed the field equipment. The cost
of this equipment was determined in the same way as for build-
ing and land and packing equipment, and averaged 1.3 cents per
box in 1931-32.
OTHER EQUIPMENT
Various items of equipment which were not standard for most
of the packinghouses were grouped as other equipment. Sprinkler
systems, stamping machines, roadways, tools and various special-
ized equipment were included in this category. For some of the
firms the investment in this group was high, but the average
cost of this investment was only 0.5 cent per box in 1931-32.
The total building, land and equipment cost, or overhead,
ranged from 3.6 cents to 38.5 cents per box (Fig. 6). The average
cost was 10 cents per box.
LIGHT, WATER AND POWER
Light, water and power were often obtained from the city in
which the packinghouse was located. A few of the packing-
houses owned light, water and power plants and operated them
for their own use. A greater number, however, obtained their
light and power from various power corporations and secured
their water from local sources. Electric power was almost the
universal rule, although a few packing plants used Diesel engines.
There was considerable variation in the cost of light, water and
power (Fig. 7), but the average cost for the season 1931-32 was
1.1 cents per box.
MATERIALS
The cost of materials per box of packed fruit was 27.9 cents,
or 36.7 percent of the total cost of handling packed fruit in
































Fig. 7.-Variation in cost of light, water and power, 125 packinghouses, season 1931-32.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


1931-32. Containers, paper, nails, box straps, car strips, labels,
paste and other materials, such as no-kuts (pasteboard edgings
for tops of boxes) were included in the cost of materials. There
was a variation in the cost of materials from 19.2 cents to 44.1
cents per box, due mainly to the amount, quality and kind of
materials used and the kind of fruit. When a large percentage
of the fruit was oranges and tangerines, and when the boxes
were lined with cardboard or heavy paper and straps were used
all around the box, the cost of materials tended to increase. Some
packinghouses put up a considerable volume of their fruit without
wrapping it in tissue paper, thus reducing their cost of materials
per box.
A number of firms used specialized containers, such as mesh
bags, various types of baskets and other non-standard containers.
Apparently, firms using a large percentage of such containers
had higher material costs than the average.
OTHER COSTS
This is a group of miscellaneous costs which could not be
charged direct to one of the above classifications. Chief among
the items were interest on short-term loans, citrus cleaner, color-
ing and brogdexing supplies. The range in this group of costs
was very wide, due to the number of items included, but the
average was 2.1 cents per box in 1931-32.
TOTAL PACKINGHOUSE COST
All current packinghouse costs and overhead charges ranged
from 48 cents to $1.36 per box with an average of 62.5 cents per
box for packed fruit. This was 82.3 percent of the total cost of
handling packed fruit from the tree to the car, exclusive of pre-
cooling, in 1931-32. The remaining 17.7 percent of the total cost
was for picking and hauling.
PICKING
Picking was done usually under the direction of the manager
and field foreman. A few of the growers picked their own fruit.
Almost all of the firms paid for picking on the basis of a given
amount per box, although a few used day labor. Different rates
were paid for picking oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, and
usually allowances were made for size of fruit, yield, age of trees
and whether or not "spot" picking was necessary.
The field foreman was sometimes paid a salary and sometimes







Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 23

a rate per box of fruit picked under his supervision. In either
case the cost of the field foreman was allocated to picking cost.
The average cost of picking for the houses studied in 1931-32
was 7.2 cents per box.
HAULING
It was the usual practice for the packinghouse to hire the
hauling done. Contractors owning fleets of trucks were often
engaged at a given rate per box, depending upon distance from
the packinghouse. A number of the packinghouses owned a few
trucks and did a part of their own hauling, and a few owned
enough trucks to do all of their hauling. Occasionally a grower
hauled all or a part of his own fruit. All of the packinghouses
included in this study were located on sidetracks so that it was
not necessary to haul the fruit from the packinghouse to the car.
The hauling cost in 1931-32 averaged 6.2 cents per box, or 1 cent
per box less than the picking cost.
TOTAL HANDLING COST
The costs of picking and hauling were added to the total pack-
inghouse cost to obtain the total cost of handling packed citrus
fruit. This averaged 75.9 cents per box for the 125 packing-
houses studied in 1931-32.
BULK FRUIT COST
The method of arriving at the cost of handling bulk fruit has
been explained (page 12). These costs are not itemized in Table
VII, but the total cost of handling this fruit is shown to average
42.4 cents per box. It was practically the universal practice for
bulk fruit passing through the packinghouse to be colored if
necessary, washed, graded and sometimes sized, and otherwise
given the same treatment as packed fruit. Picking and hauling
costs are included in the total cost of handling bulk fruit at the
same rate per box as for packed fruit.
The charges made for handling bulk fruit were ascertained for
68 of the packinghouses studied.' These charges ranged from
5 cents to 35 cents, with an average of 18.3 cents per box in
addition to picking and hauling. With picking and hauling
charges included the average charge made by the 68 packing-
houses was 31.7 cents per box. Most of the firms were endeavor-
ing to handle bulk fruit for only the additional costs incurred,
without attempting to have this fruit bear its pro-rata share of
the overhead cost of operating the packinghouse.






Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


PRE-COOLING COST
Thirty-seven of the 125 packinghouses operated pre-cooling
plants in 1931-32. None of these firms pre-cooled all of their
fruit, and some pre-cooled only a small part of it. The variation
in cost of pre-cooling was great, but the average cost per box
for all fruit pre-cooled was 8.5 cents. The cost of pre-cooling is
treated in greater detail in a later section.
CHANGES IN THE COST OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT
FROM 1924-25 TO 1931-32
The itemized costs per box of handling citrus fruit from the
tree to the car during the 1931-32 season are compared with the
costs during the seasons 1924-25 and 1925-26 in Table VIII. The
last column shows the percentage increase or decrease from
1924-25 to 1931-32.
A study of Table VIII reveals three facts of outstanding sig-
nificance. In the first place, it is shown that the total cost of
handling packed citrus fruit from the tree to the car was reduced
18.5 percent from 1924-25 to 1931-32. Next, it should be noted
that fixed costs, such as building and equipment expense, were
reduced very little and in many cases actually increased. Finally,
non-fixed costs, such as labor and materials, were greatly reduced.
The high per box cost of handling the 1925-26 crop was due
largely to the low volume of that season.
The costs of packing, box making, labeling and nailing on tops
are in the main paid by the box, and the amount of labor involved
does not greatly vary from year to year. Consequently, the
reduction in cost for these items of labor represent wage reduc-
tions rather than any saving in labor. However, due to the
introduction of conveyors and other labor-saving devices, and to
the rearrangement of packinghouses to prevent back-tracking of
fruit and reduce distances that fruit must be moved by hand, it
is possible to make savings in the amount of labor required for
other operations. The saving in labor cost from 1924-25 to
1931-32 due to reductions of wages, as indicated by the decrease
in cost of packing, box making and nailing, was 10.5 percent.
The saving in cost of other items of labor was 18.3 percent, thus
indicating a reduction in the amount of labor in addition to re-
duced wages.
The cost of materials per box of packed fruit decreased more
than 22 percent from 1924-25 to 1931-32. This was entirely due








Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 25

TABLE VIII.-COMPARATIVE COSTS PER BOX OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT FOR
THREE SEASONS.

Increase or
Seasons 1931-32 1925-26 1924-25 decrease
from
1924-25 to
1931-32
Number of packinghouses ........... 125 95 99 Percent


Labor:
Packing .................. ....... 0.058 $0.070 $0.066 12.1
Grading......................... .017 .022 .019 10.5
Box making and labeling .......... .010 .012 .010 0.0
Nailing on tops .................. .009 .011 .010 10.0
House foreman .................. .012 .017 .015 -20.0
Other floor labor. ................ .047 .073 .059 20.3
Total labor.................... .153 .205 .179 14.5


Management:
Manager's salary and bonus........ .029 .042 .032 9.4
Officer's and other salaries......... .002 .001 .004 50.0
Traveling expense ................ .006 .006 .005 + 20.0
Other expense .................... 0.0
Total management ............. .037 .049 .041 9.8


Office:
Office salaries .................... .016 .019 .015 + 6.7
Telephone and telegraph .......... .003 .002 .001 +200.0
Office building and equipment...... .002 .003 .002 0.0
Supplies and other expense ........ .003 .003 .002 + 50.0
Total office................... .024 .027 .020 + 20.0


Packinghouse and land:
Taxes........................... .003 .005 .003 0.0
Interest and rent ............... .020 .020 .017 + 17.6
Insurance....................... .003 .004 .003 0.0
Depreciation .................... .009 .010 .008 + 12.5
Repairs ......................... .002 .001 .002 0.0
W warehouse ................... .. *
Total packinghouse and land..... .037 .040 .033 + 12.1

Packing equipment:
Taxes........................... .002 .003 .002 0.0
Interest and rent ................. .014 .013 .010 + 40.0
Insurance........................ .003 .003 .002 + 50.0
Depreciation .................... .015 .025 .022 31.8
Repairs ......................... .011 .011 .009 + 22.2
Total packing equipment ....... .045 .055 .045 0.0


Field equipment:
Taxes ........................... .001 0.0
Interest and rent. ................ .002 .003 .003 33.3
Insurance....................... .001 .001 .001 0.0
Depreciation .................... .005 .008 .009 44.4
Repairs ......................... .005 .006 .007 28.6
Total field equipment .......... .013 .019 .020 35.0







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


TABLE VIII.-COMPARATIVE COSTS PER BOX OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT FOR
THREE SEASONS.-(Concluded).

'Increase or
Seasons 1931-32 1925-26 1924-25 decrease
from
1924-25 to
1931-32
Number of packinghouses ........... 125 95 99 Percent
Other equipment (total)............. $0.005 $0.001 $0.001 +400.0
Light, water and power............. .011 .012 .010 + 10.0
Materials (total) ................... .279 .352 .358 22.1
Other costs (total)...... ........ .021 .023 .022 4.5
Total packinghouse costs............ $0.625 $0.783 $0.729 14.3
Picking........................... 072 .129 .102 29.4
Hauling ......................... .062 .105 .100 38.0
Total cost of handling packed fruit... $0.759 $1.017 $0.931 18.5
Total cost of handling bulk fruit..... $0.424 $0.572 $0.478 11.3

*Less than one-tenth of one cent.

to reduction in prices of materials used in packing, as there was
no indication of a decrease in the amount of materials used. Firms
can do a limited amount in reducing their cost of materials by
buying in volume and paying cash, but this could explain but
little of the reduction from 1924-25 to 1931-32.

COST OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT IN DIFFERENT
SECTIONS OF THE STATE

The location of the 125 packinghouses included in the study in
1931-32 is shown in Fig. 8. The greatest number of firms included
were in Polk, Lake, Orange, Volusia and Pinellas counties. An
attempt was made to secure cooperators throughout the citrus
area in about the same proportion as citrus fruit is produced in
the various sections. The state was divided into geographic
sections, as shown in Fig. 8, and a representative group of pack-
inghouses was studied in each section.
The cost of handling citrus fruit in the different geographic
sections is indicated in Table IX. In order that packinghouses
of approximately the same size might be compared, the records
in each geographic section were sub-divided by volume of fruit




TABLE IX.-ITEMIZED COSTS OF HANDLING PACKED FRUIT, AND TOTAL BULK AND PRE-COOLING COSTS PER BOX IN FOUR
GEOGRAPHIC SECTIONS OF FLORIDA, SEASON 1931-32.


Geographic sections North Central South Central East Coast West Coast
Geographic s s section section section section
Above 75,000 Above 75,000 Above 75,000 Above 75,000
Volume groups 75,000 boxes and 75,000 boxes and 75,000 boxes and 75,000 boxes and
boxes less boxes less boxes less boxes less
Number of packinghouses ................... 12 14 25 12 5 29 5 23
Volume:
Packed boxes ............................ 145,736 38,757 178,800 45,316 114,182 33,915 102,321 38,615
Bulk boxes .............................. 34,844 21,599 45,387 20,184 8,230 9,431 13,361 11,491
Total volume ................. ........ 180,580 60,356 224,187 65,500 122,412 43,346 115,682 50,106
Percent of packed fruit:
Oranges ................................ 66.0 66.9 37.8 46.4 38.8 57.8 41.6 50.2
Grapefruit............................... 23.7 22.0 52.9 41.6 56.4 26.9 54.3 41.5
Tangerines ............................. 10.3 11.1 9.3 12.0 4.8 15.3 4.1 8.3
Packed fruit costs per box:
Packing labor ........................... $0.062 $0.065 $0.052 $0.060 $0.063 $0.071 $0.052 $0.058
Otherlabor............................. .084 .112 .087 .101 .096 .114 .095 .118
Management............................. .039 .046 .022 .053 .028 .063 .050 .061
Total labor and management............ .185 .223 .161 .214 .187 .248 .197 .237

Office .................. ............ .020 .026 .018 .038 .017 .037 .038 .036

Packinghouse and land .................. .029 .039 .033 .060 .023 .052 .042 .051
House equipment ........................ .036 .069 .037 .068 .046 .060 .038 .068
Field equipment ......................... .015 .016 .008 .015 .010 .026 .019 .022
Other equipment....................... .008 .009 .004 .007 .007 .007 .003 .004
Total fixed investment expense........... .088 .133 .082 .150 .086 .145 .102 .145

Light, water and power ................... .008 .014 .009 .011 .019 .013 .012 .013
Packing materials ................. ..... .269 .270 .281 .273 .268 .291 .280 .285
Other costs............................. .020 .022 .018 .025 .048 .022 .017 .020
Total packinghouse costs ................... $0.590 $0.688 $0.569 $0.711 $0.625 $0.756 $0.646 $0.736

Picking and hauling ........................ .152 .134 .117 .133 .119 1.53 .169 .152


Total picking, hauling and packing costs......
Bulk fruit cost per box .....................


$0.742 $0.822 $0.686


$0.413 1 0.496 1 50.352


$0.844


$0.744


$0.497 $0.321


$0.909


$0.511


cQ





5s
>-c










n-



;1


$0.815 $0.888
$0.468 $0.507


Pre-cooling cost per box pre-cooled .......... $0.082 $0.129 $0.064 $0.117 $ 0.223 $0.093 1 ...... $0.153






Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


Fig. 8.-Location of 125 packing-
houses studied. 1. West Coast section.
2. North Central section. 3. South
Central section. 4. East Coast section.


handled. There was found to be some variation in costs between
the different sections, but differences in volume and percentages
of grapefruit probably accounted for most of this variation.

FACTORS AFFECTING THE COST OF HANDLING
CITRUS FRUIT

The variation in the total cost of handling packed citrus fruit
from the tree to the car in 125 packinghouses in Florida during
the 1931-32 season is shown in Fig. 9.
Since there was such a difference in the cost of handling citrus
fruit in the various packinghouses, a detailed analysis was under-
taken to isolate the principal factors which influence this cost.
A number of important factors were found, such as volume,
investment, the number of days operated and percent use of
house while operating, percent of packed fruit in grapefruit,
arrangement of building and equipment, and others.








Coet
per
(a





Co









1.0
rc



O

























Fig. 9.-Variation in total cost per box of handling packed fruit, 125 packinghouses, season 1931-32.








TABLE X.-RELATION OF VOLUME TO COSTS OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT, 125 PACKINGHOUSES, SEASON 1931-32.

Volume groups Above 100,001 75,001 50,001 25,001 25,000 Average
200,000 to 200,000 to 100,000 to 75,000 to 50,000 and less all

Number of packinghouses ............... 14 29 15 32 25 10 125

Volume:
Packed boxes....................... 265,493.9 110,308.3 68,714.9 47,586.8 25,934.9 14,169.0 82,075.4
Bulkboxes......................... 60,518.5 30,021.5 19,431.2 13,245.1 10,831.1 3,918.2 21,945.2

Totalvolume ...................... 326,012.4 140,329.8 88,146.1 60,831.9 36,766.0 18,087.2 104,020.6

Packed fruit costs per box:
Packing labor ....................... $0.055 $0.054 $0.061 $0.062 $0.070 $0.068 $0.0581
Other labor ................. ..... ... .084 .091 .093 .112 .121 .136 .095]
Management.... ....... ........ .022 .035 .041 .052 .074 .126 .037
Total labor and management. ....... .161 .180 .195 .226 .265 .330 .190

Office....... ........ .. ....... .017 .023 .029 .030 .047 .051 .024

Packinghouse and land................. .023 .040 .043 .049 .059 .082 .037
House equipment .................... .031 .044 .052 .064 .070 .096 .045
Field equipment ..................... .008 .013 .015 .021 .024 .032 .013
Other equipment..................... .005 .005 .005 .007 .003 .011 .005
Total fixed investment expense....... .067 .102 .115 .141 .156 .221 .100

Light, water and power............... .008 .011 .012 .013 .014 .015 .011
Packing materials .................... .278 .274 .282 .274 .297 .334 .279
Other costs................. ........ .017 .025 .027 .020 .024 .018 .021

Total packinghouse costs ................ $0.548 $0.615 $0.660 $0.704 $0.803 $0.969 $0.625

Picking and hauling ................... .124 .132 ..142 .146 .155 .170 .134

Total picking, hauling and packing costs.. $0.672 $0.747 $0.802 $0.850 $0.958 $1.139 $0.759

Bulk fruit cost per box .................. $0.355 $0.395 $0.443 $0.496 $0.550 $0.749 $0.424







Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 31

VOLUME OF FRUIT PER PACKINGHOUSE
One of the most important factors influencing the cost of
handling citrus fruit was found to be volume of fruit per pack-
inghouse. Labor efficiency, complete utilization of the packing-
house, and low investment per box are important factors in lower-
ing the cost of handling citrus fruit, but they, in turn, are depend-
ent largely on volume of fruit.
In Table X the 125 packinghouses included in the study for the
season 1931-32 were divided into six groups according to volume
of fruit handled per packinghouse. Those packinghouses in the
lowest volume group had a cost per box nearly 47 cents, or 69.5
percent, greater than those in the highest volume group. It will
be observed in the table that the intermediate volume groups
had costs directly in line with the highest and lowest volume
groups.
The items of cost that were affected most by volume were man-
agement, labor other than for packing, office, fixed investment
expense and light, water and power cost. The items which were
affected little by volume per packinghouse were packing labor,
packing materials and picking and hauling.
Cost of
packi B
per Box
r I I r I I


L.30


1.10












.50 ------ --0--- ------ 1---0- ------ ----- --- -


1 ig. 10.


50 I00 150 200 250 300 350 400
Thousands of boxes
-Relation of volume to tie coot o01 asking citrus fruit, 124 pack-
inghouses, season 1931-32.






Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


The relation of the total packinghouse cost to volume is pic-
tured in Fig. 10. Each dot on this scatter chart represents the
current packinghouse and overhead cost for a packinghouse with
a given volume of fruit. The straight lines show the trends of
costs for packinghouses of various sizes.
The cost of packing per box decreased very rapidly with in-
creasing volume up to 125,000 boxes per packinghouse. When
volume was increased above 125,000 boxes per packinghouse the
cost continued to decrease, but at a less rapid rate. There was
no indication of an optimum volume beyond which costs would
tend to increase. There was only one packinghouse with a volume
of 50,000 boxes or less that had a cost as low as the average for all
packinghouses, while only four packinghouses with volumes above
175,000 boxes had costs higher than the average.
The results for the 1924-25 and 1925-26 seasons agree substan-
tially with the above. Of the 39 firms for the 1924-25 season that
had a volume above the average, only eight had cost per box
above the average, while 31 had cost below the average. Of the
31 firms in 1925-26 that had a volume above, four had cost per
box above the average, while 27 had cost below the average.
During all three seasons a few of the firms in the small volume
groups were able to handle fruit at a cost per box about as low as
any of the firms in the large volume groups, but the percentage
of firms having cost above the average was much greater in the
small volume groups than in the large volume groups.
In Table XI is shown the relation of volume to itemized labor,
management and office costs for the season 1931-32. As has been
pointed out, volume had little effect on packing labor, since this
labor is paid a rate per box depending mostly on the kind and size
of fruit. However, most other items of labor cost were reduced
rapidly as volume was increased. Labor that is paid by the day
or by the hour does not have to be increased in direct proportion
as volume is added, so the cost per box of this labor is reduced.
With larger volumes there is opportunity for greater labor effi-
ciency through specialization, as there is enough of a single kind
of work for each individual so that it is not necessary to sacrifice
time or skill by shifting workers from one task to another.
The larger firms paid their managers higher salaries than the
smaller firms, but the range in volume was so much greater than
the range in salaries that the cost per box for the salary and




TABLE XI.-RELATION OF VOLUME TO LABOR, MANAGEMENT AND OFFICE COSTS PER PACKED BOX.

Volume groups Above 100,001 75,001 50,001 25,001 25,000 Average
200,000 to 200,000 to 100,000 to 75,000 to 50,000 and less all

Number of packinghouses ............... 14 29 15 32 25 10 125

Volume:
Packed boxes ........................ 265,494 110,308 68,715 47,587 25,935 14,169 82,076
Bulk boxes .................. ....... 60,518 30,022 19,431 13,245 10,831 3,918 21,945

Total volume .................... 326,012 140,330 88,146 60,832 36,766 18,087 104,021
Labor:
Packing. ................. ......... $0.055 $0.054 $0.061 $0.062 $0.070 $0.068 $0.058
Grading .......................... .014 .017 .018 .019 .023 .022 .017
Box making and labeling ............. .009 .009 .010 .011 .012 .015 .010
Nailing on tops ......... ............ .008 .009 .009 .010 .012 .012 .009
Loading................... ......... .008 .009 .009 .009 .011 .009 .008
House foreman............... ...... .007 .011 .011 .016 .027 .036 .012
Other floor labor. ..................... .038 .036 .036 .047 .036 .042 .039

Total labor ............... .......... 0.139 $0.145 $0.154 $0.174 $0.191 $0.204 $0.153

Management:
Manager's salary and bonus........... $0.018 $0.025 $0.033 $0.039 $0.062 $0.094 $0.029
Officers' and other salaries .......... .001 .004 ...... .004 .002 .009 .002
Traveling expense .................... .003 .006 .008 .008 .010 .023 .006
Other expense .................... ... .001 *

Total management ..................... $0.022 $0.035 $0.041 $0.052 $0.074 $0.126 $0.037

Office:
Office salaries........................ $0.011 80.016 $0.019 $0.021 $0.033 $0.034 $0.016
Telephone and telegraph .............. .002 .002 .004 .004 .006 .011 .003
Office building and equipment.......... .002 .002 .003 .002 .005 .002 .002
Supplies and other expense ............ .002 .003 .003 .003 .003 .004 .003


Total office ............................ $0.017


*Less than one-tenth of one cent.


$0.023


$0.029


$0.030


$0.047


$0.051


$0.024







TABLE XII.-RELATION OF VOLUME TO PACKINGHOUSE AND LAND, PACKING EQUIPMENT AND FIELD EQUIPMENT COSTS PER
PACKED BOX.


Volume groups Above 100,001 75,001, 50,001 25,001 25,000 Average
200,000 to 200,000 to 100,000 to 75,000 to 50,000 and less all

Number of packinghouses ............... 14 29 15 32 25 10 125

Volume:
Packed boxes ........................ 265,494 110,308 68,715 47,587 25,935 14,169 82,076
Bulk boxes.......................... 60,518 30,022 19,431 13,245 10,831 3,918 21,945

Total volume ...................... 326,012 140,330 88,146 60,832 36,766 18,087 104,021

Packinghouse and land:
Taxes.............................. $0.002 $0.003 $0.004 $0.006 $0.004 $0.008 $0.003
Interest and rent. ................... .013 .020 .025 .026 .027 .047 .020
Insurance. ......................... .002 .003 .003 .004 .008 .007 .003
Depreciation ....................... .005 .011 .008 .010 .014 .017 .009
Repairs ............................. .001 .003 .003 .003 .006 .003 .002

Total packinghouse and land.............. $0.023 $0.040 $0.043 $0.049 $0.059 $0.082 $0.037

Packing equipment:
Taxes............................... $0.002 $0.002 $0.003 $0.004 $0.003 $0.005 $0.002
Interest and rent .................... .010 .013 .017 .019 .019 .031 .014
Insurance................... ....... .002 .003 .004 .004 .006 .005 .003
Depreciation.......................... .010 .014 .017 .024 .025 .038 .015
Repairs ............................. .007 .012 .011 .013 .017 .017 .011

Total packing equipment ................ 0.031 $0.044 $0.052 $0.064 $0.070 $0.096 $0.045

Field equipment:
Taxes............... ............ $0. $0. 80. $0.001 $0.001 $S. $0. *
Interest and rent. .................. .001 .002 .003 .004 .003 .003 .002
Insurance. .................... .... .* .001 .001 .001 .001 .001 .001
Depreciation ................ ........ .005 .004 .005 .008 .008 .012 .005
Repairs ............................. .002 .006 .006 .007 .011 .016 .005

Total field equipment .................. $0.008 $0.013 $0.015 $0.021 $0.024 $0.032 $0.013

*Less than one-tenth of one cent.












TABLE XIII.-RELATION OF VOLUME TO LIGHT, WATER, POWER AND MATERIALS COSTS PER PACKED BOX.

Volume groups Above 100,001 75,001 50,001 25,001 25,000 Average O
200,000 to 200,000 to 100,000 to 75,000 to 50,000 and less all

Number of packinghouses ............... 14 29 15 32 25 10 125

Volume:
Packed boxes ........................ 265,494 110,308 68,715 47,587 25,935 14,169 82,076
Bulk boxes ......................... 60,518 30,022 19,431 13,245 10,831 3,918 21,945 a

Total volume ................... .. 326,012 140,330 88,146 60,832 36,766 18,087 104,021

Light, water and power................. $0.008 $0.011 $0.012 $0.013 $0.014 $0.015 $0.011

Materials:
Containers .......................... $0.185 $0.191 $0.189 $0.180 $0.188 $0.197 $0.187
Paper .............................. .074 .064 .072 .071 .082 .088 .071
Nails, straps and strips ............... .012 .013 .014 .017 .021 .037 .015
Labels and paste ..................... .005 .005 .006 .005 .005 .005 .005
Other materials ...................... .002 .001 .001 .001 .001 .007 .001

Total materials......................... $0.278 $0.274 $0.282 $0.274 $0.297 $0.334 $0.279


C-






Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


traveling expense of the manager was much higher for the small
than for the large packinghouses.
Office salaries and telephone and telegraph costs per box, like-
wise, increased rapidly with decreasing volume.
As indicated in Table XII, there was a high relationship be-
tween volume and building and equipment expense. All items of
building and equipment expense increase with increasing invest-
ment, but it is not necessary for investment to increase in the
same proportion as volume when volume is increased, so increased
volume results in decreased building and equipment costs per box.
Light, water and power costs per box decrease rapidly with
increasing volume, but the cost of packing materials is not greatly
affected (Table XIII).
VOLUME OF FRUIT PER PATRON
There was an apparent relationship between volume of fruit
per patron and cost of handling packed citrus fruit. When the
fruit of the various patrons is kept separate as it moves through
the packinghouse, some additional labor is required. Also, there
is more idle time for the machinery, since the fruit of one patron
must be cleared out of the bins before another patron's fruit is
started on. Consequently, large volume per patron results in
some saving of both labor and overhead expense.
Any other cause that would result in this starting and stopping
of operations in the packinghouse would have the same effect.
Frequent shifts from oranges to grapefruit or tangerines, and
from one variety to another, would just as logically result in
increased cost.
INVESTMENT PER PACKINGHOUSE
The total investment in the packinghouse and equipment was
found to be an important factor influencing the cost of handling
citrus fruit. The relationship between investment and cost of
handling citrus fruit during the season 1931-32 is brought out in
Table XIV. In this table, as far as possible to remove the influ-
ence of volume, the packinghouse records were divided into two
volume groups, namely, those with volume above 75,000 boxes,
and those with 75,000 boxes and less. Each of these volume
groups was then sub-divided into three groups according to invest-
ment per packinghouse.
Within each of the major volume groups, there was a direct
relationship between volume and investment. Although decreas-
ing investment per packinghouse was accompanied by decreasing




TABLE XIV.-RELATION OF VOLUME AND INVESTMENT TO COST OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT, 110 PACKINGHOUSES,
SEASON 1931-32.


Volume groups
Number of packinghouses .............. .
Investment-range. .....................
Number of packinghouses ................
Investment (excluding pre-cooling)-average.

Volume:
Packed oranges ................... ....
Packed grapefruit ....................
Packed tangerines ................... .
Total packed fruit ..................

Total bulk fruit ................... ..
Total volum e........... ..........
Packed fruit costs per box:
Packing labor........................
O their labor..........................
Management.......................
Total labor and management .........

Office..............................

Packinghouse and land .................
House equipment ................... .
Field equipment .....................
Other equipment .................. ...
Total fixed investment expense........

Light, water and power ...............
Packing materials .................. ..
Other costs.......................
Total packinghouse costs ................

Picking and hauling .....................
Total picking, hauling and packing costs...
Bulk fruit cost per box..................


Above
$75,000
20
$126,929.82


72,053
58,448
19,217
149,718

52,054
201,772

$0.057
.088
.030
.175

.028

.040
.043
.012
.009
.104

.010
.269
.021
$0.607

.124
$0.731
$0.387


Above 75,000 boxes
53
$50,001
to $75,000
17
$ 61,881.04


46,780
67,243
7,586
121,609

30,920
152,529

$0.052
.094
.029
.175

.019

.035
.042
.013
.004
.094

.012
.275
.025
$0.600

.131
$0.731
$0.368


$50,000
and less
16
S35,925.57


58,842
47,290
5,749
111,881

22,679
134,560

$0.057
.086
.035
.178

.017

.025
.034
.011
.004
.074

.010
.282
.022
$0.583

.138
$0.721
$0.380


Above
$75,000
5
$ 99,462.35


20,965
21,557
3,229
45,751

14,939
60,690

$0.057
.155
.063
.275

.044

.099
.088
.017
.008
.212

.016
.265
.045
$0.857

.143
$1.000
$0.625


75,000 boxes and less
57


$50,001
to $75,000
8
$ 61,727.57


18,089
15,016
6,074
39,179

13,373
52,552

$0.069
.113
.063
.245

.048

.078
.094
.038
.006
.216

.013
.285
.025
$0.832

.142
$0.974
$0.566


$50,000
and less
44
$ 23,102.24


19,251
8,925
4,168
32,344

11,426
43,770

$0.066
.112
.058
.236

.033

.044
.058
.020
.005
.127

.013
.292
.016
$0.717

.156
$0.873
$0.505








Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


volume per packinghouse, decreasing investment was also accom-
panied by decreasing cost of handling citrus fruit. This de-
creased cost was traceable largely to fixed investment expense,
particularly to the overhead cost of building and land.
In 1924-25, packinghouses with a volume of less than 60,000
boxes and an investment of $25,000 or less, had a cost of 24 cents
per box less than those packinghouses in the same volume group
but with an investment of more than $40,000. In 1925-26, the
firms having a volume of less than 32,000 boxes and an invest-
ment of $25,000 or less had cost of 30 cents per box less than those
firms in the same group but with an investment of more than
$40,000.
INVESTMENT PER BOX
The factor investment per box combines the influence of volume
and investment, since investment per box depends upon both
investment and volume. Consequently, there is a very high rela-
tionship between investment per box and cost of handling citrus
fruit. This relationship is indicated in Table XV and Fig. 11.

Comt of
Packing
P1 T 1 1 1


1 Ina l


1.20 1.60
Investment per box


2.00 2.40 2.80 3.20


Fig. 11.-Relation of investment per box to cost of packing citrus fruit,
110 packinghouses, season 1931-32. (Firms renting building, packing
equipment or field equipment not included.)


--


$0.40







Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 39

When the factors of investment and volume are thus combined,
almost every item of cost is affected. For the season 1931-32,
fixed investment expense decreased from an average of 26.3 cents
per box for seven packinghouses having an average investment
of above $1.50 per box to an average of 6.4 cents per box for 19
packinghouses having an average investment of 20.7 cents per
box.
The average handling cost for the 1924-25 season for those
firms that had less than 30 cents invested per box was 86 cents
per box, while firms with an investment of over 75 cents per box
had a cost of $1.05. For the 1925-26 season, for the same invest-
ment groups, the costs were 93 cents and $1.11, respectively. For
1931-32 the same relationship held true, the costs for the group
with less than 30 cents per box invested being 69.5 cents, and
for the group with more than $1.50 invested, $1.096 per box.
On the average, for each 10 cents increase in investment per
box, there was an increase in cost per box of approximately 3.8
cents for the 1924-25 season, 2.2 cents for 1925-26 and 2.2 cents
again for the season 1931-32.

INVESTMENT PER CAR CAPACITY AND VOLUME PER CAR
CAPACITY
The car capacity of a packinghouse may be defined as the num-
ber of cars of 360 boxes of fruit that can be packed in that pack-
inghouse in a 10-hour day. Many packinghouses are utilized to
only a small percentage of their capacity.
The investment per car capacity gives an index to how expen-
sively the plant was constructed. The volume per car capacity
indicates the utilization of the plant.
In Table XVI, the effects of both investment per car capacity
and volume per car capacity are brought out. The records were
first divided into three groups, namely, those of packinghouses
with investments of more than $15,000 per car capacity, those
with investments of $8,001 to $15,000 per car capacity, and those
with investments of $8,000 and less per car capacity. Each in-
vestment group was then sub-divided into three groups according
to volume per car capacity.
Each investment group shows increasing costs with decreasing
volume per car capacity. In fact, this is one of the most striking
relationships brought out in the entire study. Of even more
importance than large volume per packinghouse is large volume







TABLE XV.-RELATION OF INVESTMENT PER BOX TO COST OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT, 110 PACKINGHOUSES,
SEASON 1931-32.


Investment per box groups


Number of packinghouses ...............

Average investment per box .............

Volume:
Packed boxes ........................
B ulk boxes ..........................


Total volume......................

Packed fruit costs per box:
Packing labor.......................
Otherlabor..........................
M anagement................ .......
Total labor and management.........

O office ..............................

Packinghouse and land................
H house equipment .....................
Field equipment......................
Other equipment ................... ..
Total fixed investment expense.......

Light, water and power ...............
Packing materials .................. .
Other costs ..........................

Total packinghouse costs................
Picking and hauling....................


Above
$1.500


$1.001
to $1.500


$0.701
to $1.000


$0.501 $0.301 $0.300 Average
to $0.700 to $0.500 and less all


- 1 1 1 j .


$ 1.789


40,131
10,907

51,038


$0.066
.152
.070
.288

.057

.121
.106
.028
.008
.263

.016
.295
.028


$ 1.159 $ 0.786


34,878 64,504
12,590 32,638

47,468 97,142


$0.062 $0.060
.112 .110
.062 .045
.236 .215

.048 .032

.068 .049
.082 .060
.022 .016
.008 .007
.180 .132

.013 .011
.285 .279
.034 .025


$0.947 $0.796
.149 .138


Total picking, hauling and packing costs... $1.096

Bulk fruit cost per box.................. $0.643


$0.934


23 31 19

$ 0.618 $ 0.411 $ 0.207


93,091
23,637

116,728


$0.057
-.088
.034
.179

.022

.035
.040
.013
.008
.096

.011
.272
.020


$0.600
.135

$0.735


81,575
26,135

107,710


$0.059
.093
.036
.188

.028

.045
.050
.015
.004
.114

.014
.276
.028


$0694 $0648


$0.694 $0.648
.119 .138

$0.813 $0.786


I-I--.-- -------____


110

$ 0.543


80,156
23,764

103,920


$0.058
.096
.037
.191

.026

.039
.046
.014
.006
.105

.011
.277
.022


120,184
27,654

147,838


$0.055
.091
.030
.176

.016

.020
.030
.010
.004
.064

.009
.278
.016


$0.559
.136

$0.695


$0.632
.135

$0.767


$0.439 $0.410 | $0.387


$0.369 $0.419


-------'


*I-* ---- --- --------- -i-- ------


$0.572







Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 41

Cost of
Packing
per Box








.----
$1.C




.95












5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Investment per car capacity thousands of dollars
Fig. 12.-Relation of investment per car capacity of packinghouses to
cost of packing citrus fruit, 110 packinghouses, season 1931-32. (Firms
renting building, packing equipment or field equipment not included.)

per car capacity, indicating complete utilization of the packing
facilities.
The average packinghouse cost for citrus fruit in six packing-
houses having investments of $8,000 and less per car capacity
combined with volumes of above 25,000 boxes per car capacity
was 53.7 cents per box. The average cost for seven packing-
houses with investments of above $15,000 per car capacity com-
bined with volumes of 12,500 boxes and less was 81.9 cents per
box. Practically every item of cost was affected, but fixed invest-
ment expense was influenced more than any other item.

RELATION OF TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION TO INVESTMENT IN
BUILDING AND LAND
There was found to be a direct relationship between the type
of construction of the packinghouses and investment in buildings








TABLE XVI.-RELATION OF INVESTMENT PER CAR CAPACITY AND VOLUME PER CAR CAPACITY TO COST OF HANDLING CITRUS
FRUIT, 110 PACKINGHOUSES, SEASON 1931-32.
Investment per car capacity-range Above $15,000 $8,001 to $15,000 $8,000 and less


Number of packinghouses .......
Volume per car capacity-range...
Number of packinghouses .......
Investment per car capacity......
Volume per car capacity:
Packed oranges ...............
Packed grapefruit .............
Packed tangerines.............
Total packed fruit..........
Total bulk fruit.... ....


Total volume. .............


Packed fruit costs per box:
Packing labor.................
Otherlabor....................
Management ................
Total labor and management..

Office ........................

Packinghouse and land.........
House equipment .............
Field equipment...............
Other equipment ..............
Total fixed investment expense

Light, water and power........
Packing materials .............
Other costs ...................
Total packinghouse costs.........
Picking and hauling .............
Total picking, hauling and packing
costs...................... .
Bulk fruit cost per box...........
*Less than one-tenth of one c


34
Above 12,501 12,500
25,000 to 25,000 and less
12 15 7
$17,879.47 $20,534.27 $21,503.20

14,271 7,785 5,394
15,105 7,750 3,673
2,808 2,441 1,290
32,184 17,976 10,357
9,042 8,024 5,264
41,226 26,000 15,621

$0.052 $0.058 $0.062
.081 .103 .136
.025 .039 .053
.158 .200 .251

.021 .035 .042

.034 .053 .089
.032 .058 .089
.011 .018 .014
.008 .006 .010
.085 .135 .202

.010 .011 .015
.264 .274 .274
.022 .024 .035
$0.560 $0.679 $0.819
.125 .115 .141

$0.685 $0.794 $0.960
$0.342 $0.409 $0.522


ent.


Above 12,501 12,500
25,000 to 25,000 and less
8 17 17
$11,715.26 $11,207.60 $11,126.22

14,099 9,479 3,807
15,251 6,396 2,584
2,021 1,488 1,042
31,371 17,363 7,433
5,107 3,949 3,973
36,478 21,312 11,406

$0.055 $0.062 $0.062
.086 .099 .110
.036 .038 .064
.177 .199 .236

.026 .023 .046

.028 .038 .061
.038 .049 .088
.013 .016 .022
.005 .004 .005
.084 .107 .176

.009 .014 .012
.268 .288 .287
.018 .035 .026
$0.582 $0.666 $0.783
.134 .148 .141

$0.716 $0.814 $0.924
$0.361 $0.439 $0.538


34
Above 12,501
25,000 to 25,000
6 12
$ 6,818.76$ 5,497.77

16,731 8,456
16,326 6,842
2,067 1,278
35,124 16,576
5,534 3,870
40,658 20,446

$0.052 $0.060
.090 .093
.027 .041
.169 .194

.013 .019

.016 .032
.028 .038
.007 .016
.009
.051 .095

.009 .011
.286 .272
.009 .015
$0.537 $0.606
.134 .149

$0.671 $0.755
$0.305 $0.424


12,500
and less
16
$ 4,804.36

4,515
1,338
1,313
7,166
2,771
9,937

$0.073
.117
.067
.257

.034

.055
.064
.023
.006
.148

.014
.310
.015
$0.778
.165

$0.943
$0.529


I







Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 43

and land. To bring out this relationship, the buildings were
separated into three groups, depending upon the number of years
they had been operating at their present capacity, and were then
sub-divided by type of construction. The results of the analysis
are shown in Table XVII.
The largest number of packinghouses of any one type consisted
of wood or steel frames overlaid with galvanized iron. These
have been designated in the table as "Iron Clad" houses. The
second most important type was of wood construction, while
brick, tile, stucco and a long list of miscellaneous types followed.
Due to the small number of the brick, tile and stucco packing-
houses, and the similarity of the investments in buildings of these
materials, they were placed in one group. All rented buildings
and a number of buildings of a wide range of construction types
were omitted from the comparison.
Wood was the cheapest type of construction for both the old
and the new packinghouses, while brick, tile and stucco were the
most expensive materials. The investment per car capacity in
building and land where the packinghouse was of the latter type
was more than twice as great as for the former.
The annual cost of the investment in building and land, as
shown in the last two columns of Table XVII, represents the
annual charge for depreciation, insurance, repairs, taxes, and
interest on the investment computed at the rate of seven percent.
The annual cost of the investment per car capacity varies directly
with the amount of the investment per car capacity. The annual
cost of the investment per packed box, also, varies in the same
way, despite the fact that the more expensive packinghouses
packed larger volumes of fruit than the less expensive houses.
The investment in the more expensive packinghouses was more
than enough to offset the effect of the larger volumes.
Total overhead cost was less for the brick, tile or stucco pack-
inghouses for each dollar invested than for the other types, but
the number of dollars invested was so much greater that the
costs per car capacity and per box of fruit were greater.
SIZE OF PACKINGHOUSE BASED ON DAILY CAR CAPACITY
There has been a widespread belief that large packinghouses
are not utilized as completely as, and therefore are less efficient
than, small plants. In order to check this theory, the cost records
were divided into six groups depending upon the daily car capacity
of the packinghouses. No other factor was taken into considera-
tion in making this sort. The results are shown in Table XVIII.














TABLE XVII.-RELATION OF YEARS OPERATED AND TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION TO ANNUAL COST OF BUILDING AND LAND,
95 PACKINGHOUSES, SEASON 1931-32.

Annual cost of
Number of Average Volume of Investment investment
Years operated and type of construction packing- years packed per car
houses operated fruit (boxes) capacity Per car Per packed
capacity box

Less than 7 years:
W ood ................................ 10 4 78,957 $4,535.03 $527.13 $0.031
Iron clad............................. 26 4 85,691 5,961.72 716.87 .037
Brick, tile or stucco................... 6 3 126,661 9,543.04 897.07 .044

7 to 14 years:
Wood ....................... .. .. 15 10 60,103 4,280.64 545.80 .034
Iron clad ............................. 24 10 61,396 4,993.61 606.24 .040
Brick, tile or stucco.................... 8 10 97,336 9,186.04 893.25 .052

Above 14 years:
Wood ............................... 2 26 36,311 1,925.26 360.74 .035
Iron clad..................... ........... .. 4 22 67,105 2,927.62 622.71 .053
Brick, tile or stucco.................. .. 0 ............






Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 45

It will be noted that there was considerable fluctuation of indi-
vidual items of cost between the different groups. However, the
sum of the individual cost items shows that total cost of packing
decreased regularly with increasing size of the packinghouses.
Evidently it is not necessary to increase the investment or the
labor in proportion as capacity is increased, so on the average
the large houses are more completely utilized than the small ones.
So many other factors influence the cost of handling citrus
fruit that the car capacity of the packinghouse alone does not
make a reliable basis for estimating the packing cost, but when
other factors are equal the advantage is in favor of the packing-
houses with large daily car capacity.
DAYS OPERATED AND USE OF HOUSE WHILE OPERATING
The 125 packinghouses included in the study for the 1931-32
season were divided into three groups, depending upon the number
of days they operated during the packing season. These groups
were composed of packinghouses which operated more than 150
days, 91 to 150 days, and those which operated 90 days and less.
Each of these groups was then divided into three sub-groups
depending upon the percentage of capacity that the houses were
used while operating.' The results of this analysis are shown
in Table XIX.
This analysis combines the effects of volume and capacity of
the packinghouses. A packinghouse may have a large volume,
but at the same time be over-built, since it is not utilized to ca-
pacity, while a packinghouse with a smaller volume may be
utilized to a high percentage of its capacity.
When the number of days operated and the utilization of the
packing facilities are thus combined, almost every item of cost
is affected. Six packinghouses that operated at more than 50
percent of their capacity for more than 150 days during the pack-
ing season had a labor and management cost of 15 cents, a fixed
investment expense of 4.3 cents, and total packinghouse cost of
51.5 cents per box, while 17 packinghouses that were operated
at 30 percent of capacity or less for 90 days or less during the
packing season had a labor and management cost of 26.9 cents, a
fixed investment expense of 16.2 cents, and total packinghouse
cost of 80.5 cents per box.
1The percent use of the house while operating was obtained by dividing
the average daily output of each packinghouse by the possible daily output
if the packinghouse had been operated at full capacity for 10 hours.






TABLE XVIII.-RELATION OF SIZE OF PACKINGHOUSE BASED ON DAILY CAR CAPACITY TO COST OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT,
125 PACKINGHOUSES, SEASON 1931-32.

Daily car capacity-range 7 to 12 cars 5.5 and 6 cars 5 cars 4 cars 2.5 and 3 cars 2 cars and less

Number of packinghouses ................ 19 12 12 28 36 18

Car capacity-average................... 8.7 6.0 5.0 4.0 2.9 1.9

Days operated .......................... 152.4 134.3 117.8 108.4 106.3 97.6
Use of house-percent ................... 36.5 35.1 41.0 34.7 40.1 42.2

Volume:
Packed fruit.......................... 195,730 112,361 96,576 60,184 49,444 31,565
Bulk fruit .................. ........ 51,831 26,538 11,585 21,700 14,757 9,002

Total volume........................ 247,561 138,899 108,161 81,884 64,201 40,567

Packed fruit costs per box:
Packing labor ......................... 0.056 $0.060 $0.056 $0.054 $0.061 $0.064
Otherlabor........................... .091 .079 .108 .098 .096 .117
Management ......................... .023 .041 .038 .042 .049 .063
Total labor and management ......... .170 .180 .202 .194 .206 .244

Office ............................ .022 .018 .023 .028 .025 .040

Packinghouse and land ................ .032 .038 .027 .048 .038 .057
House equipment .................... .039 .041 .045 .054 .052 .055
Field equipment ...................... .011 .013 .011 .013 .017 .027
Other equipment ..................... .006 .004 .003 .007 .003 .007
Total fixed investment expense........ .088 .096 .086 .122 .110 .146

Light, water and power................ .009 .010 .014 .013 .011 .013
Materials............................ .274 .289 .273 .274 .285 .287
Other costs ........................... .019 .018 .031 .022 .021 .019

Total packinghouse costs ................. $0.582 $0.611 $0.629 $0.653 $0.658 $0.749

Picking and hauling .................... .125 .135 .144 .129 .145 .152

Total picking, hauling and packing costs... $0.707 80.746 $0.773 $0.782 $0.803 $0.901

Bulk fruit cost per box ................... $0.394 $0.381 $0.477 $0.450 $0.442 $0.485




TABLE XIX.-RELATION OF DAYS OPERATED AND USE OF HOUSE WHILE OPERATING TO COST OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT,
125 PACKINGHOUSES, SEASON 1931-32.


Number of days operated-range.. Above 150 days 91 to 150 days 90 days and l
Number of packinghouses ........ 34 49 42


use oi nouse wnile operatlng'-
range........................
Number of packinghouses ........
Average number of days operated.
Average use of house while operat-
ing- percent..................
Volume:
Packed fruit ..................
Bulk fruit....................
Total volume...............


Packed fruit costs per box:
Packing labor.................
Other labor ...................
Management .................
Total labor and management..

Office ................. ......

Packinghouse and land.........
House equipment .............
Field equipment...............
Other equipment ..............
Total fixed investment expense

Light, water and power........
M aterials.....................
Other costs..................
Total packinghouse costs.........

Picking and hauling.............
Total picking, hauling and packing
costs........................
Bulk fruit cost per box...........


*Less than one-tenth of one cent.
ISee footnote, page 45.


ADove 50 0.1 to o0 30 percent Above 50
percent percent and less percent


16
177.9

37.2

144,621
41,289
185,910


$0.053 $0.055
.080 .088
.017 .033
.150 .176

.012 .020

.015 .033
.023 .033
.005 .013
.008
.043 .087

.006 .010
.291 .278
.013 .014
$0.515 $0.585

.125 .128

$0.640 $0.713
$0.310 $0.342


6
173.5

77.9

304,548
30,645
335,193


12
177.2

21.1

81,948
45,990
127,938

$0.068
.115
.041
.224

.026

.040
.063
.016
.003
.122

.015
.325
.032
$0.744

.156

$0.900
$0.321


7
110.0

66.9

115,887
19,951
135,838

$0.052
.088
.027
.167

.023

.038
.043
.009
.008
.098

.012
.252
.027
$0.579

.128

$0.707
$0.380


30.1 to 5
percent
21
112.2

39.2

71,714
16,016
87,730

$0.063
.108
.044
.215

.032

.047
.055
.018
.004
.124

.014
.272
.031
$0.688

.134

$0.822
$0.443


30 percent
and less
21
121.4

21.7

52,772
21,863
74,635

$0.064
.099
.046
.209

.033

.047
.064
.021
.007
.139

.012
.288
.026
$0.707

.153

$0.860
$0.483


'''^ ^


Above 50 30.1 to 50
percent percent
11 14
78.3 58.5

65.1 37.0

68,367 27,087
18,517 10,396
86,884 37,483

$0.055 $0.060
.089 .114
.037 .073
.181 .247

.022 .040

.043 .068
.040 .082
.016 .022
.008 .012
.107 .184

.010 .014
.264 .283
.015 .020
$0.599 $0.788

.133 .144

$0.732 $0.932
$0.394 $0.532


ess

30 percent .
and less
17
68.9

22.3

25,645
12,036
37,681

$0.064
.121
.084 o
.269

.046

.063
.079
.016 "
.004
.162

.013
.288
.027
0.805 -

.155 c

$0.960
$0.589 .


,


*Less tan one-enth o on et






Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


Labor and management, office, fixed investment expense, and
light, water and power costs, were influenced more than other
items of cost by the percent use made of the house while oper-
ating. The same items of cost were also greatly influenced by
the number of days the packinghouse operated during the pack-
ing season.
For economical operation there must be not only a large volume
of fruit, but the volume must be large in proportion to the capacity
of the packing facilities so that the plant can be utilized to a high
percentage of its capacity for a large number of days during the
packing season.
The harvest period for citrus fruit for most sections in Flor-
ida averages about six or seven months. Since neither the
demand nor the supply is uniform during the harvest season, it
is desirable that the facilities for handling citrus fruit be elastic.
It is questionable whether so great a degree of elasticity as now
exists is economical for the industry.
PERCENT OF PACKED FRUIT REPRESENTED BY GRAPEFRUIT
Certain items of cost are directly affected by the size and kind
of fruit. Chief among these items are packing labor, grading
labor and tissue paper for wrapping the fruit. The fact that
these items are so definitely affected by this factor has led many
persons to assign undue importance to the kind of fruit handled
as explaining total handling cost. It must be remembered that
labor for packing and grading and tissue paper costs combined
represent less than 20 percent of the total cost of handling packed
citrus fruit.
The influence on cost of percentage of total packed fruit in
grapefruit is indicated in Fig. 13. For each 10 percent increase
in the percentage of packed fruit represented by grapefruit, the
cost of packing decreased a little less than 2 cents per box. Other
factors were of such great importance, however, that there was
an extremely wide variation in cost for all percentages of packed
fruit in grapefruit. Where other factors are similar, the percent
of packed fruit in gapefruit is of enough importance to be a
determining factor on the cost of handling, but outstanding
efficiency in any one of a number of other factors could counteract
any disadvantage in this regard.
The relation of the percentage of packed fruit represented by
grapefruit to the cost of labor and materials per packed box is
shown for various volume groups in Table XX. For the same






Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit


Cost of
Packing
per Box



I-


5.


so--I


30 40 60 80 100
Percent of packed fruit grapefruit
Fig. 13.-Relation of percent of packed fruit repre-
sented by grapefruit to the cost of packing citrus
fruit, 125 packinghouses, season 1931-32. r=-.2441
0.0567.


quality paper, the paper cost per box increases as the size of the
fruit decreases. Packers are usually paid an increasing rate per
box as the size of fruit decreases. Other items of labor and
materials in the packinghouse are little affected by the size and
kind of fruit.
The relationship of kind of fruit to the cost of picking is clearly
demonstrated in Table XXI. As the percentage of total fruit
represented by grapefruit decreased, thus leaving increasing
percentages in oranges and tangerines, the cost of picking regu-
larly increased.
OWNED AND RENTED PLANTS
A comparison was made of the costs of handling citrus fruit in
owned and rented packing plants for the season 1931-32. All
but one of the cost records taken could be used in this analysis,
so the comparison was based upon 110 packing plants that were


Fl







TABLE XX.-RELATION OF PERCENTAGE OF PACKED FRUIT REPRESENTED BY GRAPEFRUIT TO LABOR AND MATERIALS COSTS
PER PACKED Box, SEASON 1931-32.

Volume groups Above 100,000 boxes 50,001 to 100,000 boxes 50,000 boxes and less

Number of packinghouses ........ 43 47 35

Percent of packed fruit in grape- Above 50 25.1 to 50 25 percent Above 50 25.1 to 50 25 percent Above 50 25.1 to 50 25 percent
fruit-range.................. percent percent and less percent percent and less percent percent and less

Number of packinghouses .......... 16 18 9 16 13 18 6 9 20

Percent of packed fruit in grape-
fruit-average ................ 63.0 40.3 17.3 65.8 37.0 13.8 73.6 35.9 8.2

Volume:
Packed fruit................. 172,806 165,078 131,061 58,128 53,453 51,587 26,688 18,873 23,004
Bulk fruit ................... 36,574 44,620 36,616 11,667 19,464 15,312 3,171 11,703 9,280

Total volume............... 209,380 209,698 167,677 69,795 72,917 66,899 29,859 30,576 32,284

Labor:
Packing...................... 0.050 $0.057 $0.061 80.053 $0.061 $0.071 $0.053 $0.062 $0.078
Grading..................... .013 .017 .017 .018 .019 .021 .022 .017 .025
Box making and labeling....... .009 .010 .007 .011 .011 .011 .012 .012 .013
Nailing on tops............... .009 .008 .008 .008 .010 .010 .010 .010 .013
Loading ..................... .008 .009 .007 .008 .008 .010 .011 .010 .011
House foreman ............... .009 .008 .008 .018 .013 .011 .028 .042 .024
Other floor labor............... .037 .038 .040 .048 .045 .034 .035 .038 .038

Total labor .................... $0.135 $0.147 $0.148 $0.164 $0.167 $0.168 $0.171 $0.191 $0.202

Materials:
Containers.................... $0.187 $0.191 $0.182 $0.180 $0.188 $0.185 $0.171 $0.188 80.196
Paper ........................ .072 .069 .065 .068 .068 .078 .064 .074 .093
Nails, straps and strips......... .013 .013 .010 .015 .019 .015 .021 .029 .024
Labels and paste .............. .005 .006 .003 .005 .005 .005 .003 .007 .005
Other materials ............... .002 .002 .001 .001 .002 .... .002

Total materials.................. 0.277 $0.281 $0.262 $0.269 $0.280 $0.284 $0.261 $0.298 $0.320

*Less than one-tenth of one cent.







Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 51

TABLE XXI.-RELATION OF PERCENT OF PACKED FRUIT REPRESENTED BY
GRAPEFRUIT TO THE COST OF PICKING, 125 PACKINGHOUSES, SEASON 1931-32.

Percent of packed fruit in grapefruit Number of Cost
packing- of
Range Average houses picking
Above 70................................... 77.5 13 $0.063
50.1-70 ................................. 58.4 25 .069
35.1- 50 ................................. 43.3 24 .070
20.1 35 ................................... 27.1 24 .074
5.1 20 .................................. 15.5 26 .082
5 and less ................................... 3.1 13 .093

owned by the firms operating them and 14 plants for which either
the buildings or the equipment, or both, were rented (Table
XXII).
The average volume of fruit handled by the two groups of
packinghouses was not greatly different. However, the total
packinghouse cost averaged 6 cents per box, or 10 percent, greater
in the owned than in the rented plants. Almost one-half of this
difference in cost was accounted for in fixed investment expense,
while labor and management accounted for 1 cent and office
expense for 1 cent. The average cost of packing materials was
about 1 cent per box greater for the rented than for the owned
plants.
It would not be proper to place too great emphasis on the differ-
ence in cost between the owned and rented packing plants for
the 1931-32 season, since changed economic conditions could
quickly remove the apparent advantage in favor of the rented
plants. Firms that own their packing facilities are not subject
to having their costs increased on the strength of a competitive
bid for the rental of the property.

ARRANGEMENT OF PACKINGHOUSES AND EQUIPMENT
The arrangement of the building and of the packing equipment
exerts considerable influence upon the cost of floor labor. The
cost of packing labor is not affected, since this labor is paid a
stipulated rate per box. Buildings and equipment should, in
general, be so arranged that the distances for fruit to be moved
by hand are a minimum, and the back-tracking of fruit where
hand labor is involved should be entirely eliminated.
Usually it is considered desirable to have a platform along the
side of the building on which to unload fruit from the trucks.
A desirable arrangement is to have doors open from this platform
into coloring rooms located along the inside of the building. Doors







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


TABLE XXII.-COMPARATIVE COSTS OF HANDLING PACKED CITRUS FRUIT IN
OWNED AND RENTED PACKINGHOUSES, 124 PACKINGHOUSES, SEASON 1931-32.


Packinghouses
and equipment
owned


Packinghouses
and/or equip-
ment rented


Number of packinghouses ...................... 110 14

Volume:
Packed oranges ................... .......... 38,858 42,347
Packed grapefruit ........................... 33,540 47,492
Packed tangerines ........................... 7,758 9,240
Total packed fruit ........................ 80,156 99,079

Total bulk fruit ........................... 23,764 9,147

Total volume. ............................ 103,920 108,226

Packed fruit costs per box:
Packing labor ....... ........ .............. 0.058 $0.058
Other labor ................................. .096 .087
Management..................... .......... .037 .034
Total labor and management ............... .191 .179
Office .................. ................... .026 .014
Packinghouse and land. ..................... .039 .022
House equipment .................... ........ .046 .037
Field equipment. ................... ......... .014 .008
Other equipment ............................ .006 .002
Total fixed investment expense. .............. .105 .069
Light, water and power ........ ...... ....... .011 .008
M materials ................................... .277 .289
Other costs.................................. .022 .014

Total packinghouse costs....................... $ 0.632 $ 0.573
Picking and hauling .......................... .135 .131
Total picking, hauling and packing costs......... $ 0.767 $ 0.704

Bulk fruit cost per box....................... $ 0.419 $ 0.512


Pre-cooling cost per box pre-cooled .............


$ 0.092


$ 0.051


opening from the inner end of the coloring rooms provide avenues
for the fruit to be moved to the washer without retracing any of
the space moved by hand. A long dump with a conveyor leading
to the washer shortens the distance necessary to truck the fruit.
This also shakes out a great deal of dirt and trash before the
fruit reaches the washer. Conveyors carry the fruit through
the washer, dryer, polisher, and along the grading and sizing
belts to the bins for packing.








Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 53


Most packinghouses have other conveyors for removing the
packed boxes from the packers and transferring them to one side
for the tops to be nailed on.
Where such an arrangement is possible, all the movement of
the fruit through the packinghouse should be in the general direc-
tion of the sidetrack. In packinghouses having pre-cooling

140'


Receiving platform



"oloring rooms





Dumn__ _Lp __

S _asher --

u Dryer

0
-- Grading belt -

00

X:1 0>
0 P 0 N 0 0
S> > > >


0 0 0 0 0

4 I 4 4L/







Pre cooling rooms



Loading platform


Fig. 14.-Floor plan of a 6-car capacity packinghouse which had a low floor
labor cost (7.3 cents per packed box), season 1931-32. Note the direct move-
ment of the fruit through the packinghouse. There is no space to be retraced,
and distances for fruit to be moved by hand havb been reduced to a minimum.








Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


147'
Receiving platform
I-I-I 1-


Coloring rooms











) "---- |
Conveyor


-- Sizer 0

Ofc nnvas r r

Sizer

z Conveyor







SPeCI
tn uSizer 0
H3 -


C 0 C


C_ vI| r0


















plant
i Sizer 0




















Fig. 15--Floor plan of a 6-car capacity packinghouse which had a low floor
labor cost (7.3 cents per packed box), season 1931-32. The packing equipment

is properly located between the coloring rooms and the pre-cooling rooms,
and so arranged as to reduce distance for fruit to be moved by hand. The out-
Dryer :


S| Washer --












is properly located between the coloring rooms and the pre-cooling rooms,
and so arranged as to reduce distance for fruit to be moved by hand. The out-
side coloring rooms add greatly to the labor required for hand trucking, but
are used only when all the other rooms are full.







Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 55

plants, if the pre-cooling rooms are located along the inside of
the building next to the sidetrack, the packed boxes can move
directly into these rooms through doors at the inner end, then out
through outer doors to the platform for loading into the cars.
Such an arrangement as that described above is illustrated in
Fig. 14. The direction of the movement of the fruit through
the packinghouse is indicated by arrows. It will be noted that
there is no excess movement of the fruit by hand and there are
no congested areas where laborers are forced to wait for each
other and lose time. The box-making machines in this packing-
house are located above the pre-cooling rooms, and the empty
boxes are fed down to the packers through inclining chutes.
Paper and materials are stored above the coloring rooms. Empty
field boxes are removed from the dump by a conveyor to a plat-
form 40 feet from the building where they are stacked until
trucked back to the groves.
Another desirable arrangement is shown in Fig. 15. This
building was not long enough to accommodate all the coloring
rooms desired, so another building was constructed at the end of
the main building to give space for additional coloring rooms.
Aside from this feature, the general plan of this packinghouse
does not differ materially from the one shown in Fig. 14. Al-
though the outer coloring rooms are used only when the other
rooms are full, it is believed they would be more practical if the
main building had been made longer and all the coloring rooms
included under one roof. Crate materials are stored over the pre-
cooling rooms where the boxes are made and sent down through
chutes to the packers.
An arrangement that calls for a great deal more hand labor
is illustrated in Fig. 16. Fruit entering the packinghouse passes
through the coloring rooms in a desirable way, but after leaving
the coloring rooms must be trucked a great distance to the dump.
After leaving the dump the conveyors do not take the fruit in
the general direction of the sidetrack, but farther down the pack-
inghouse from where it must be returned by hand trucks to the
pre-cooling rooms. This plan is of a packinghouse that was built
in the wrong shape. It is so narrow that it is impossible to set
up the packing machinery between the coloring rooms and the
pre-cooling rooms. Boxes are made in the basement of this
house and sent by a conveyor to the floor on top of the pre-cooling
rooms from where they are sent down through chutes to the pack-



















Loading platform Loading platform
as D rr I i i ng
PrO-cooling roo.a Pr -cooling roon Pr -cooling roOn P -re-n..ling
g plant
S-I ; } j j -




.; Washer Pun \-

a ior r p

Rgceving platform


I --


T --I

-
K
r s


Fig. 16.-Floor plan of an 8-car capacity packinghouse which had a high floor labor cost (12.3 cents per packed box), season 1931-
32. This house is of the wrong shape for efficiency. It is so narrow that the packing equipment could not be placed between the
coloring rooms and the pre-cooling rooms, thus requiring the fruit to be moved long distances by hand and causing the fruit to retrace
itself over a considerable distance within the packinghouse.





255'


-- ~- t Ob
0 Materials and field equipment

-5a




e- Dryer and polisher Dryer and polisher Pre-cooling plant 0
S reading elt- Grading bk t
Sa a





Pre- cooling rma 0
Materials and boy-making


-T2
eDryer and polisher Pre-cooling plant





















Fig. 17.-Floor plan of a 7-car capacity packinghouse which had a high floor labor cost (11.3 cents per packed box),
season 1931-32. Note the congested area between the coloring rooms and the dump. There is another congested area
between the pre-cooling rooms and the doors opening to the sidetrack. Distances for hand trucking of the fruit are great.
Boxes are made on the main floor and must be trucked to the packers, thus causing a great deal of confusion.
Boxes are made on the main floor and must be trucked to the packers, thus causing a great deal of confusion. -.1






Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


ers. Empty field boxes are removed from the dump by means of a
conveyor which takes them to a platform outside the building.
Another illustration of long distances for fruit to be moved by
hand, and of a congested area in front of the coloring rooms, is
shown in Fig. 17. This packinghouse has no receiving or loading
platforms, but has wide doors for the fruit to enter and leave the
building. It should be noted that the fruit must enter and leave
the coloring rooms through the same doors, and en route from
the coloring rooms to the dump must cross the same general area
as before entering the coloring rooms. From the dump the fruit
works through the packing machinery in a direction at right
angles to the pre-cooling rooms. Consequently fruit must be
trucked by hand almost the entire length of the packinghouse in
passing from the coloring rooms to the pre-cooling rooms. It is
necessary, again, to enter and leave the pre-cooling rooms through
the same doors and retrace some of the area already crossed in
being trucked to the sidetrack. Box-making is done on the main
floor, and empty field boxes are removed from the dump by means
of a conveyor and stacked on the ground outside.
The floor plan in Fig. 18 shows an arrangement of the packing
machinery that is quite satisfactory, since there are two side-
tracks, but the coloring rooms are so arranged that a great deal
of hand labor is necessary. Fruit must be trucked almost half
the length of the building between the receiving platform and
the dump, and all of the coloring rooms are badly located, either
with reference to the receiving platform or the dump, or both.
The dryer is located above the washer, and a conveyor takes the
fruit through the polisher located above the coloring rooms. Box-
making is also done above the coloring rooms nearest the dump.
The arrangement shown in Fig. 19 causes congestion when the
coloring room nearest the sidetrack is used. This could be elim-
inated by extending the receiving platform all the way across
the end of the building and making an outer door to this coloring
room similar to the doors in the other rooms. Box making is
done on a mezzanine floor along the side of the building next to
the sidetrack. Aside from the one poorly arranged coloring room,
and the fact that the receiving platforms are too low, the plan
of this packinghouse is quite satisfactory.
Often it is not possible to finance the completion of all the
details of a building, but when it is properly arranged, additional
features can be added later. A floor plan which illustrates the pro-







Loanlin7 niat-formr l





lf- oloring rooms




P 90' 0


-- 0
D t be I 0 a an
E o

Conveyor --

4r.





Loading platform


190'a

Fig. 18.-Floor plan of a 4-car capacity packinghouse which had a high floor labor cost (21 cents per packed box), season
1931-32. Note the distance of the receiving platform from the dump, and the poor arrangement of the coloring rooms. A CA
great deal of hand labor is necessary before the fruit reaches the dump, but from that point to the car the arrangement ~
appears to be satisfactory.







60 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station




Shed Store room



Conveyor-

Sizer


I Convevyor






AkD
s Sizer



S- -- CoDryer _
SWasher --
S--Dump -














< 96'


Fig. 19.-Floor plan of a 3-car capacity packinghouse which had a
low floor labor cost (7.2 cents per packed box), season 1931-32. With
the exception of the coloring room nearest the sidetrack, this arrange-
ment results in little confusion and a minimum of hand labor. A longer
receiving platform and an outer door in this coloring room would im-
prove the plan.







Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 61

vision for the later addition of a pre-cooling plant is shown in
Fig. 20. The fruit passes through this house, always in the gen-
eral direction of the sidetrack. A long dump and conveyor reduces
the distance fruit must be trucked by hand. Between the sizers
and the loading platform, space has been left for the addition of
the pre-cooling plant. A mezzanine floor above this space pro-
< 165'

\ ii


L


-a





H U,
o o

--


Washer
(^ Dryer
Brogdex
Conveyor
T izer


Sizer
Conveyor

Sizer
Convevop
' I o r
btzer


Fig. 20.-Floor plan of a 6-car capacity packinghouse which had a low
floor labor cost (7.2 cents per packed box), season 1931-32. Note the direct
movement of the fruit through this packinghouse, the long dump, the ar-
rangement of the sizers so that the conveyors take the packed boxes in the
direction of the sidetrack, and the space provided for the installation of a
pre-cooling plant at a later date.

vides a place for stacks of packing materials and for box-making.
A conveyor removes the empty field boxes from the dump to a
platform located 40 feet from the end of the building.
ONE-UNIT AND TWO-UNIT PACKINGHOUSES
Some packinghouses provide for increased volume by enlarging
their washing and drying units and adding to their grading and


9











-4


I






Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


sizing equipment, while others increase capacity by installing
additional washing and drying units complete. The investment
per car capacity is not greatly different for the two methods, but
there is likelihood that where additional units are installed the
capacity of the plant will be increased beyond its needs for a
number of years to come. During the years that this excess
capacity is standing idle, depreciation and obsolescence are
going on.
Of the 125 packinghouses included in the study for 1931-32,
there were 20 two-unit houses and one three-unit house. The
three-unit house, one two-unit house with rented equipment, and
three two-unit houses having a capacity of less than five cars
per day were eliminated, and the remaining 16 two-unit packing-
houses compared with 24 one-unit houses of a capacity of five
cars or more per day. This comparison is shown in Table XXIII.
The one-unit houses had an average daily capacity of six cars,
while the two-unit houses had an average capacity of eight cars.
The two-unit houses had considerably more volume than the one-
unit houses, but not enough more to utilize completely their addi-
tional capacity, so the one-unit houses packed an average of
20,191 boxes per car capacity as against 18,155 boxes per car
capacity for the two-unit houses.
The difference in utilization of facilities more than offsets the
volume advantage of the two-unit houses. Total fixed investment
expense averaged approximately 2 cents per box greater for the
two-unit houses than for the one-unit houses, and labor expense
averaged 1 cent per box greater. Light, water and power, and
other costs were somewhat favorable to the one-unit houses.
The only item of expense to show a distinct advantage in favor
of the two-unit houses was for packing materials, and this must,
of course, be traced to other causes.
We may conclude from the above that costs are reduced by
increasing volume until such point has been reached that a dupli-,
cation of facilities is necessary. When this becomes necessary
the packinghouse is placed at a relative disadvantage until such
volume is attained that the additional facilities are completely
utilized. It is a risky matter to increase the capacity of the
packing equipment far beyond the needs of the next few years.








Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 63

TABLE XXIII.-COMPARATIVE COSTS OF HANDLING CITRUS FRUIT IN ONE-
UNIT AND TWO-UNIT PACKINGHOUSES HAVING DAILY CAPACITY OF
FIVE CARS OR MORE, SEASON 1931-32.


One-unit
houses


Two-unit
houses'


Number of packinghouses ...................... 24 16

Volume (boxes):
Packed ..................................... 119,464 148,640
Bulk ..................................... 28,019 40,574

Total volume. .................. ......... 147,483 189,214

Volume packed per car capacity................. 20,191 18,155

Investment in packing equipment:
Per car capacity ............................ $ 3,808.66 $3,836.95
Per packed box............................ .19 .21

Packed fruit costs per box:
Packing labor .................. ........... $ 0.057 $ 0.058
Other labor ................................ .088 .101
M anagement................................ .035 .031
Total labor and management .............. .180 .190
Office ................. ................... .023 .026

Packinghouse and land ...................... .034 .036
House equipment ................... ........ .039 .045
Field equipment. ................... ......... .011 .015
Other equipment ......................... .. .003 .009
Total fixed investment expense. ............ ..087 .105

Light, water and power ...................... .010 .011
M materials ................................. .281 .268
Other costs ............................................ .020 .026

Total packinghouse costs. ....................... $ 0.601 $ 0.626

Picking and hauling................... ....... .136 .135

Total picking, hauling and packing costs........... $ 0.737 $ 0.761


Bulk fruit cost per box................ ........


$ 0.389


$ 0.407


1One two-unit packinghouse having rented equipment eliminated.


RELATION OF MILES HAULED TO THE COST OF HAULING

There was a variation in the average length of haul from the
groves to the various packinghouses of from one mile to 20 miles
in 1931-32. There was an even greater range in the distance
hauled to individual packinghouses, one packinghouse having
minimum and maximum distances of a few hundred yards and
90 miles, respectively.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


In Table XXIV is indicated the relationship of distance to the
cost of hauling. As distance is increased the cost of hauling
per box is regularly increased, but the cost of hauling does not
increase in proportion as distance to be hauled increases. Usually
a sliding scale is used for making the charge for hauling, based
upon a stipulated amount per box for a base distance of, say,
three miles, with a decreasing rate per mile for each additional
mile hauled. The cost of hauling per box per mile, then, decreases
as the length of haul increases.

TABLE XXIV.-RELATION OF DISTANCE TO THE COST OF HAULING CITRUS
FRUIT, 122 PACKINGHOUSES, SEASON 1931-32.

Number Cost
Distance group (miles) of Average Volume of
packing- distance (boxes) hauling
houses per box
1 to 2Y2................... 14 1.8 115,417 $0.040
3 to 4 2 ................... 20 3.7 101,520 .055
5 .......................... 23 5.0 126,961 .055
5Y2 to6 ................... 17 6.0 103,449 .060
7 to9 ................... 22 7.8 77,974 .066
10 and over .................. 26 10.9 106,240 .079
Total ................... 122 6.3 104,940 $0.061


There was little indication that the average length of haul of
any of the packinghouses was too long, although many individual
groves could have been served more economically by packing-
houses nearer at hand. The length of haul is of so little impor-
tance as compared with volume of fruit as a factor influencing
the total cost of handling fruit from the tree to the car, that an
increase in the average length of haul, within reason, should not
be a deterrent to an effort to increase total volume per packing-
house.

THE COST OF COLORING CITRUS FRUIT

The practice of artificial coloring of citrus fruit is well estab-
lished and well-nigh universal in Florida. This is especially true
of fruit handled early in the season. Certain varieties of fruit
are slow to color on the trees and are practically always artificially
colored. All but two of the packinghouses studied in 1931-32 had
coloring rooms of some kind. Coloring neither aids the ripening
process nor improves the eating quality of citrus fruit, but it






Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 65

brings out the characteristic color of ripe fruit and thus makes
it more attractive and appealing to the consumer.
Coloring is accomplished by the release of gases over the fruit
which is stacked in compartments that are practically gas tight.'
About two-thirds of the packinghouses studied in 1931-32 used
ethylene gas, while most of the remainder used gasses from
burning kerosene. Almost all of the packinghouses found it
worthwhile to control the humidity of the rooms during the color-
ing process. Many kinds of humidifiers were in use, ranging
from rough homemade devices to relatively expensive commercial
types. The time required for coloring was found to range from
a few hours to almost a week, depending mostly upon the con-
dition of the fruit.
The coloring rooms usually are of such size as to accommodate
one car of fruit each, the required size of plant being obtained
by varying the number of rooms rather than the size. In a few
packinghouses the field boxes of fruit were stacked on the floor
of the main building and covered with heavy canvass, or "tents",
under which the coloring gas was released. Most of the packing-
houses, however, had specially constructed rooms for the purpose,
and those with low labor cost had them so located that the fruit
would pass through the rooms from the receiving platforms to
the main packing floor without retracing itself.
The investment in the coloring plant was not kept separate
from the investment in the remainder of the building and equip-
ment on the books of a number of the firms included in this study.
Consequently, coloring cost has been included in the cost of pack-
ing citrus fruit in all of the tabulations shown. There were 44
firms, however, that had the investment in the coloring plant
separate from the other investment, and had the cost of labor for
coloring separated from other coloring costs. The itemized costs
of coloring, based upon these 44 records of costs, are shown in
Table XXV.
The average investment for the coloring plants included in
this.study was $6,680.70. Plant overhead, as represented by
interest on the investment at 7 percent, depreciation as actually
set up on the books of the firms, and insurance and taxes, made
up approximately one-half of the cost of coloring. The other half

1See W. R. Barger and L. A. Hawkins, Coloring Citrus Fruit in Florida,
U. S. D. A. Bul. 1367, for a more complete discussion of the methods of
coloring citrus fruit.













TABLE XXV.-RELATION OF VOLUME OF FRUIT COLORED TO ITEMIZED COSTS OF COLORING, 44 COLORING PLANTS,
SEASON 1931-32.

Volume groups Above 30,001 to 30,000 boxes Average all
90,000 boxes 90,000 boxes and less

Number of coloring plants........... 11 19 14 44


Average volume colored ............. 158,699 49,474 18,242 66,843


Per Per Per Per Per Per
Coloring costs coloring box coloring coloring bor coloring bo
plant plant plant plant

Labor ............................ $1,101.62 $0.007 $ 548.44 $0.011 $ 269.51 $0.015 $ 597.98 $0.009
Interest and rent ................... 692.25 .004 406.91 .008 385.60 .021 471.47 .007
Depreciation....................... 730.49 .005 347.85 .007 217.50 .012 402.03 .006
Insurance.......................... 130.41 .001 77.16 .002 63.86 .003 86.24 .001
Taxes............................. 85.57 .001 65.14 .001 51.76 .003 65.99 .001
Other costs....................... 1,105.39 .006 537.60 .011 257.41 .014 590.40 .009

Total coloring costs ................ $3,845.73 $0.024 $1,983.10 $0.040 $1,245.64 $0.068 $2,214.11 $0.033







Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 67

was divided almost equally between labor and other costs. Color-
ing gas, oil, fuel, and a proportionate part of the water, light
and power were the principal items included as "other costs."
The average cost of coloring 2,941,092 boxes of fruit in 44
coloring plants in 1931-32 was 3.3 cents per box. As the volume
of fruit colored increased, all items of cost decreased.

THE COST OF PRE-COOLING CITRUS FRUIT

Since the costs of pre-cooling are not incurred by all packing-
houses, nor ordinarily by all of the fruit moving through any
packinghouse, these costs have been kept separate throughout
from the costs of packing. Pre-cooling is not a part of the process
of packing, but is a method of preparing fruit for transportation
so that it will be protected against decay. Fruit that has been
pre-cooled is usually loaded into refrigerator cars that have been
pre-iced by the shipper, and are forwarded to market at a refrig-
eration charge that is 20 percent of the standard refrigeration
rate. The importance of this method of handling citrus fruit is
shown in Table XXVI. During the season 1931-32, 11.2 percent
of the car-lot shipments of citrus fruit from Florida were pre-
cooled.

TABLE XXVI.-PERCENT OF TOTAL STATE CARLOT MOVEMENT OF CITRUS
FRUIT SHIPPED BY SPECIFIED METHODS.

Standard Pre-cooled Pre-iced
Year refrigeration and pre-iced only Ventilation Total
1924-25........ 39.0 7.3 3.7 50.0 100.0
1925-26........ 44.3 9.7 4.2 41.8 100.0
1926-27........ 37.6 9.6 7.5 45.3 100.0
1927-28........ 38.8 7.9 9.6 43.7 100.0
1928-29........ 41.2 10.4 14.1 34.3 100.0
1929-30........ 43.6 16.3 18.3 21.8 100.0
1930-31........ 16.5 10.1 16.8 56.6 100.0
1931-32........ 21.5 11.2 22.3 45.0 100.0
1932-33........ 15.8 11.0 20.4 52.8 100.0


Pre-cooling is accomplished by stacking the packed boxes of
fruit in the pre-cooling rooms and leaving them exposed to tem-
peratures of 320 to 36 Fahrenheit for about 24 hours. The time
required to pre-cool and the temperatures vary, but the above
are the most usual conditions.
The pre-cooling rooms are specially constructed with air-tight
walls, packed with wood shavings, cork or other insulating






Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


material. Mechanical refrigeration is practically always used,
the machinery being set up in a room for the purpose and pipes
or air ducts run to the individual pre-cooling rooms. In almost
all cases the rooms are of such size as to hold a carload of fruit.
The best location for these rooms is along the inside of the pack-
inghouse next to the sidetrack. There should be doors in both
ends of each room so the fruit can move into the rooms and out
to the loading platform without retracing itself.
Thirty-seven of the packinghouses included in the study for
1931-32 had pre-cooling plants. These 37 plants pre-cooled a
total of 2,456,874 boxes of citrus fruit during the season, or an
average of 66,402 boxes per pre-cooling plant, at an average cost
of 8.5 cents per box (Table XXVII). Seven of these plants pre-
cooled more than 100,000 boxes each, or an average of 194,655
boxes per pre-cooling plant, at a cost of 5.6 cents per box, while
the 10 smallest plants, averaging 12,422 boxes, operated at a
cost of 22.4 cents per box. The relationship of volume to the cost
of pre-cooling is shown in Table XXVII.
The biggest item of expense was for light, water and power,
which, of course, includes power for refrigeration. However, this
cost was not as great as the combined items of overhead cost,
namely, taxes, interest and rent, insurance, depreciation and
repairs. Labor and pre-cooling supplies were the other items
of cost.
The relation of use of the pre-cooling plant and of investment
to the cost of pre-cooling is shown in Table XXVIII. The cost
records were first divided into two groups depending upon the
number of times the pre-cooling rooms were filled to capacity.
This indicates the use made of the pre-cooling plant. Each of
these groups was then sub-divided into two groups, depending
upon the investment per car capacity of the pre-cooling plants.
The differences in costs between columns one and two, and be-
tween columns two and three were due to differences in investment
per car capacity; while the differences between columns one and
three, and between columns two and four were due to differences
in the use made of the pre-cooling plants. It will be noted that
the use made of the pre-cooling plants was of a great deal more
importance than investment, although the influence of invest-
ment, also, was significant.
Large volume per car capacity is necessary to secure complete
use of the pre-cooling facilities. As indicated in Table XXIX,











TABLE XXVII.-RELATION OF VOLUME OF FRUIT PRE-COOLED TO PRE-COOLING COST, 37 PRE-COOLING PLANTS,
SEASON 1931-32.

Volume pre-cooled-group Above 100,000 50,001 to 100,000 25,001 to 50,000 25,000 and less Average all

Average volume ................. 194,655 65,899 39,137 12,422 66,402
Number of pre-cooling plants..... 7 7 13 10 37
Per pre- Per pre- Per pre- Per pre- Per pre-
Items of cost cooling Per cooling Per cooling Per cooling Per cooling Per
plant box plant box plant box plant box plant box


Labor ......................... $1,697.21 $0.009 $ 892.22 $0.014 $950.23 $0.024 $ 302.62 $0.024 $ 905.55 $0.014
Taxes ......................... 120.84 .001 156.13 .002 131.99 .003 112.81 .009 129.26 .002
Interest and rent................ 2,195.61 .011 1,121.56 .017 847.83 .022 775.01 .062 1,134.92 .017
Insurance ..................... 179.49 .001 197.29 .003 178.00 .004 175.59 .014 181.28 .003
Depreciation ................... 1,519.07 .008 989.45 .015 818.45 .021 668.12 .054 942.72 .014
Repairs ....................... 339.51 .002 394.56 .006 149.85 .004 108.37 .009 220.82 .003
Light, water and power.......... 4,224.77 .021 2,109.59 .032 1,435.75 .037 502.39 .041 1,838.63 .028
Supplies........................ 668.21 .003 241.60 .004 145.28 .004 134.59 .011 259.54 .004
Total pre-cooling costs............ $10,944.71 $0.056 $6,102.40 $0.093 $4,657.38 $0.119 $2,779.50 $0.224 $5,612.72 $0.085







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


the large pre-cooling plants have a lower investment per car
capacity than the small plants.


TABLE XXVIII.-RELATION OF USE OF PRE-COOLING PLANTS AND INVEST-
MENT PER CAR CAPACITY OF PRE-COOLING PLANT TO COST OF PRE-
COOLING PER BOX, SEASON 1931-32.


Number of times filled to capacity-range


Above 20 times


20 times and less


Number of pre-cooling plants.......... 14 21

Investment per car capacity........... Above $2,000 and Above $2,000 and
$2,000 below $2,000 below

Number of pre-cooling plants.......... 9 5 5 16

Average number of times filled to capac'y 35.4 32.3 9.3 10.2
Average investment per car capacity.... $ 2,955.74 / 1,088.32 $ 2,654.78 $ 1,203.19
Average volume per pre-cooling plant... 79,912 142,103 31,184 30,861

Pre-cooling costs per box:
Labor ............................. $0.012 $0.011 $0.023 $0.025
Light, water and power ............. .025 .029 .037 .041
Depreciation ............... ....... .016 .008 .036 .022
Interest and rent................... .015 .006 .050 .023
Repairs ........................... .006 .003 .006
Insurance......................... .002 .001 .004 .007
Taxes............................. .002 .001 .005 .003
Other supplies ................... .003 .005 .007 .004


Total pre-cooling costs ................


$0.081


$0.061


$0.165


$0.131


*Less than one-tenth of one cent.


TABLE XXIX.-RELATION OF CAR CAPACITY OF PRE-COOLING PLANT TO
INVESTMENT IN PRE-COOLING PLANT, SEASON 1931-32.


Car capacity groups


5 cars and less .................

6 to 9 cars .....................

10 cars and over ..............

T otal.....................


Number
of
plants


Average
car
capacity


Investment
per
plant

$ 9,784.84

13,252.43

18,112.74


Investment
per car
capacity

$ 2,242.36

1,893.61

1,443.77


$13,667.62 $ 1,737.81






Bulletin 266, A Study of the Cost of Handling Citrus Fruit 71

SUMMARY

This study is based upon cost records of 99 packinghouses which
handled 46 percent of the commercial production of citrus fruit
in Florida in 1924-25; 95 packinghouses which handled 41.8 per-
cent of the commercial production of the state in 1925-26; and
125 packinghouses which handled 68.8 percent of the commercial
production in 1931-32.
The percentage of bulk fruit increased from 2.9 percent of the
total volume included in the study in 1924-25 to 3.6 percent in
1925-26 and 21.1 percent of the total in 1931-32 (Table III).
The cost of handling packed citrus fruit from the tree to the
car, exclusive of pre-cooling, averaged 93.1 cents per box in
1924-25, $1.017 per box in 1925-26, and 75.9 cents per box in
1931-32. Total handling cost decreased 18.5 percent from 1924-
25 to 1931-32. The greatest reductions were for labor and
materials, while there were increases in overhead costs, due to
higher investments than during the earlier years (Table VIII).
The total cost of handling citrus fruit from the tree to the car
varied from 58 cents to $1.56 per box during the season 1931-32
(Fig. 9).
Little difference in the cost of handling citrus fruit from the
tree to the car was noted for the different geographic sections of
the state (Table IX).
One of the outstanding factors affecting cost of handling citrus
fruit was volume per packinghouse. For 14 packinghouses with
volumes of more than 200,000 boxes in 1931-32, the total handling
cost was 67.2 cents per box of packed fruit, while for 10 pack-
inghouses with volumes of 25,000 boxes or less, the cost was
$1.139 per box (Table X). Almost all items of cost were affected,
but labor and management and fixed investment expense were
influenced most by this factor. A study of, Table X and Fig. 10
leads to the conclusion that on the average a volume of 60,000
to 70,000 boxes is necessary for economical operation.
For packinghouses of approximately equal volumes, cost of
handling fruit increases rapidly with increasing investment per
packing plant (Table XIV). This is due mainly to the added
overhead cost of maintaining the more expensive plants.
Investment per box combines the influence of volume and in-
vestment, and thus exerts a striking influence on the cost of
handling fruit (Table XV and Fig. 11).






Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


The investment per car capacity indicates the expensiveness
of the packing facilities, while the volume per car capacity indi-
cates the use made of these facilities. The influence of these
factors on cost for the season 1931-32 is shown in Table XVI.
From this analysis it would appear that a minimum volume of
from 15,000 to 20,000 boxes per car capacity and an investment
of not more than $15,000 per car capacity are necessary for eco-
nomical operation.
The number of days operated during the packing season and
the percent use made of the house while operating were found
to be important factors influencing the cost of handling citrus
fruit (Table XIX). These factors are dependent, in turn, upon
volume of fruit and whether or not the packing plant has been
over-expanded.
Increasing percentages of grapefruit passing through the
packinghouse resulted in reduced costs for packing and grading
labor, and for tissue paper for wrapping the fruit. Apparently
these were the only items of cost affected by this factor (Table
XX and Fig. 13).
The shape of the packinghouse and the arrangement of the
packing machinery are important factors in their influence upon
floor labor cost. Desirable and undesirable shapes and arrange-
ments are shown in Figs. 14 to 20, inclusive.
With increasing volume, the cost of handling citrus fruit de-
creases until such point is reached that a duplication of facilities
is necessary. At this point there is danger that the capacity
of the packing plant will be expanded too far beyond the immedi-
ate needs. The two-unit packinghouses shown in Table XXIII
had too much excess capacity as compared with the one-unit
houses, and their costs were greater. The principal differences
in costs were in fixed investment expense and labor other than
for packing. Apparently the two-unit packinghouses required
some duplication of labor and of investment.
The cost of coloring in 44 coloring plants in 1931-32 was 3.3
cents per box (Table XXV). As the volume per coloring plant
decreased the cost of coloring rapidly increased.
The cost of pre-cooling in 37 pre-cooling plants in 1931-32 was
8.5 cents per box. Volume pre-cooled and the use made of the
pre-cooling plant were important factors affecting the cost of
pre-cooling (Tables XXVII and XXVIII).



26850 4




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