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BLOG: The Produce Effect

March 21, 2017

Across the country, crop volumes are at a peak height from early spring to the summer. This is what we in the supply chain world call Produce Season! Throughout this time of the year, trucks are in high demand to get time-sensitive produce into markets, primarily out of the southeast.


Many variables are factored into the rates that hit the market during this time of year. For the most part, produce farms are in relatively secluded areas which cause a large impact on carrier availability. This also can lead to higher rates for capacity – especially refrigerated trailers. Most produce is always shipped on a refrigerated truck as other modes such as intermodal cannot adhere to the time sensitivity. This puts a strain on capacity throughout the nation as produce season creates somewhat of a shortage for other shippers needing a refrigerated piece of equipment.


DAT North American Freight Index released that it is typical to see a 30% spot freight increase during this time. Because of this, other modes are impacted as well. Dry van carriers, railroads, and LTL carriers tend to push for rate increases in response to the higher refrigerated capacity demand.


A big way to elevate the capacity crunch and rate increases is for shippers to align their transportation program with a 3rd Party Logistics provider. As a 3PL, Axle Logistics has the capability to proactively plan for this time of year and adjust before the market changes instead of reacting to it like many asset based providers are forced to. Axle is aligned with a network of carriers, contracted year round for dedicated corridors. This allows us to provide our clients first in class service year round eliminating shipper’s fear of a lack of capacity or increase of rates.


For our produce suppliers, you too are in the right hands! Axle is fully educated and experienced within the produce industry. From high volume to high value, Axle is integrated in hundreds of clients supply chains focused on safety and proper execution of a shipment containing perishables. No matter what line of business you are in, Axle Logistics has the capabilities to shield you as much as possible from the impacts of produce season allowing your supply chain to continue to run uninterrupted.