The spring and summer months mean produce is in season for various regions of Canada and the United States. Starting in late March, the produce wave moves to the southeastern states, southern Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, and southern California, and continues to move north as summer arrives and temperatures rise.

How much will produce seasonality affect rates?

During a time of ample produce supply, capacity can struggle to meet shipping demands. What this leads to is the negotiating power sitting with the carrier.

DAT, an industry leader is trend reporting publishes a North American Freight Index, and the latest report notes that spot market freight volume typically rises about 30% in the spring. This shift sets the tone for other modes of transportation.  In response to higher refrigerated capacity demand, dry van carriers, railroads, and LTL carriers also push for rate increases.

Just remember, fairness pays off – negotiating power will inevitably swing the other way and creating a year-round relationship built on trust is key to accessing consistent capacity and load availability.

How much will produce seasonality affect capacity?

As the spring/summer seasons can be a lucrative time for carriers, many companies reposition their trucks to southern, produce-heavy states where demand for equipment is high. Shippers in non-produce-heavy regions are impacted by capacity shortages and higher rates because of this shift.  

How can shippers and carriers secure a reliable transportation deals during this time of year? Here’s some tips:

  • Analyze market rates to make sure your offerings are in line with industry market rates.
  • Set up contracts and try to forecast accurately by using your own historical data paired with industry reports.
  • Study harvest times and schedules to make sure you are prepared for the season.
  • Be a shipper/carrier of choice by being trustworthy, fair and offering a partnership that goes over and above a mere transaction.
  • Think of ways you can control some of your other costs. Some key areas to consider are, have you maintained your trucks according to manufacturer’s schedules to avoid breakdowns? Can you utilize other modes of transportation, such as intermodal, to control costs? Do you need to factor or can you take advantage of direct pay on terms that work for you?

UWT can help with your seasonal and year-round load availability and capacity. We work with reliable shippers and customers to keep your trucks moving and money coming in! Our sales team uses expert load planning so that you can make the most out of seasonal shifts. In addition, we have intermodal and refrigerated offerings that help to build a reliable network that covers cross-border Mexico shipments, along with all the United States and Canada. Finally, our payment terms are great! We offer 7 day no fee pay, and 72 hour quick-pay option with very reasonable terms; so you don’t need to factor. Give us a call today!

How Much Does Produce Seasonality Affect Your Rates & Capacity? was last modified: by