We are currently in the beginning wave of the 2021 produce season – which officially begins in April and goes through July. Our first look at this year’s season foreshadows possible industry challenges from a number of factors. With the impact of the pandemic and tight capacity in the market, combined with the freezes from the winter storms that hit Texas and the Southeast in February, shippers need to prepare in advance for any obstacles to their supply chains.
WHERE WE STAND NOW
We are seeing a tight capacity in the market, especially our refrigerated freight partners. According to a recent FreightWaves piece looking into this, the Reefer Outbound Tender Reject Index was at 46%, after being at an all-time high at the end of February due to winter storms. The season has already kicked off in some regions of the country as record-high volumes continue due to high consumer demand.
“With the additional demand in the market from a produce perspective, that is really going to put a crunch on capacity. We are already seeing a truck availability shortage in a lot of key produce markets, such as parts of California and in Florida,” states Ian Hess, NTG Senior Vice President of Brokerage Operations.
Our temperature-controlled team expects these challenges to hold until the end of July. Between the spike in e-commerce that began one year ago, inclimate weather and general disruptions, it’s imperative that shippers take advantage of the exclusive carrier networks access of a 3PL to seamlessly execute shipments in their supply chain.
If you are interested in learning more or would like to speak to one of our experts, please click here.