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2015 Produce Season: What To Know & What’s Changed

***This is Part II of our three-part series on Produce Season Shipping 2015. Check out Part I for what commodities are shipped around Texas, as well as Part III for the role of CAPACITY in produce shipping! And download the Freight Paper 2015 Guide to Produce Season Shipping for FREE. Hard to believe it’s already April 2015 and we’re talking about Produce Season! This year we wanted to expand our coverage of Produce Season, releasing a short series of blogs addressing a range of topics including what is grown here in TX and how markets play a role. Lastly, we decided to really see what farming and produce was all about, heading over to the Urban Roots Farm here in Austin to get involved! But first let’s recap, what is Produce Season?
  • Time of year when most of the major fruits and vegetables are harvested, packed, and ready to be shipped to grocers across the country.
  • Typically it starts in April and will run through the end of July, but will vary some throughout the year for the different growing seasons.
  • Prime produce regions are South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, Southern California, and Central Florida.
  • During Produce Season, shipping rates will increase as the demand for trucks for elevates and consumes capacity throughout those regions.
  • The equipment capacity crunch will be felt by other business sectors of the region.
  • Most of the produce is moved in refrigerated trailers, making an already hard piece of equipment to find even more difficult.
Now, let’s talk about how the 2015 Produce Season is shaping up…
  • The price of diesel is at its lowest point in the last several years and will most likely stay low throughout the summer (barring a natural disaster or geo-political conflict). What this means is that operating costs will be less this year, but carriers will be looking to make up revenue up in other places.
  • There is still a driver shortage! Even with higher wages and new incentive programs, new driver growth is still slow.
  • With fuel low, shippers will be trying to take advantage and get more product out the door even further constraining capacity.
  • Truck demand will continue to increase as low fuel costs and tight capacity will pull freight off the rail, and back to the road.
Overall, the 2015 Produce Season will feel a little different with diesel prices dipping, but overall we won’t see much change with the market as there is still high demand trucks and a lagging supply of drivers. As we mentioned in 2014, communication is the key to keeping your costs in check during Produce Season.  Providing lead time and as many load details as possible will help you and your freight broker create the best solution to get your freight moved! CC image courtesy Donald Lee Perdue via Flickr

Matt Harrington

Matt Harrington is the Director of Enterprise Sales at FreightPros. He has a degree in Urban and Regional Analysis (fancy way of saying Geography) from The Ohio State University. Matt loves the outdoors and is desperately trying to figure out how to incorporate more golf and fishing into his day to day at FreightPros.

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