Produce season in the United States typically begins in February and continues through the summer months. It’s when the largest volume of fruits and veggies are harvested and shipped to grocery stores, food manufacturers, and other vendors across the country.
During 2018, 154.5 million truck loads of food and kindred products were shipped. This number is projected to rise an additional 8% to 166.9 million by 2020. Produce accounts for a significant amount of these shipments. Now that summer is here, produce shipping season is in full-swing, which means potential shipping impacts on non-produce businesses.
How Does Produce Season Affect Freight Shipping?
So, how much does produce season affect freight shipping? According to the Journal of Commerce, freight volume increases by up to 30 percent during this time and leads to higher rates and occasional delays.
In addition, since produce is usually shipped on refrigerated trucks, you may find it tough to locate available refrigerated equipment for your goods. Unfortunately, things can get quite difficult for you if you’re a non-produce shipper during produce season.
Planning for Produce Season
Regardless of where you live, you can plan ahead and make sure produce season doesn’t completely throw you off track. Here’s what you can do:
- Study market rates: If your carrier offers you a rate that seems very high, do some research and find out what the average market rates are. Go with a carrier that can provide you with fair prices as well as excellent service.
- Arrange certain contracts now: If you know you have regular shipments that will be affected by produce season, set up time-specific contracts with your carrier long before produce season begins. Locking in rates now can help you save money down the road.
- Stay up-to-date on harvest schedules: Check produce industry sties on a regular basis to find out when certain regions are heating up so you can plan for fluctuations throughout the year.
- Provide your carrier with accurate volume forecasts: By providing your carrier with accurate volume forecasts, you’ll make it easier for them to meet your needs when the produce season finally rolls around.
- Work with a trustworthy carrier: Amware can help you navigate the challenges of produce season. Our large carrier network and exceptional customer service can ensure your shipping needs are covered every season of the year, including produce season.
Get Ahead During Produce Season with Amware
If you’d like to manage the high transportation costs and tight capacity that produce season may impact your freight shipping, considering partnering with Amware. We’re a full-service 3PL with partnerships and attractive rates for freight with all the major carriers. If you’d like to test drive our LTL cloud-based software product, Amrate, request a free 30-day trial below.