Weekly Freight Market Update: Say Peak Cheese

Spring is less than a week away, and that means a shift in the freight market as well. Produce is about to be the big story around the U.S.

We saw early signs of the season last week, and we saw markets in the South Central and Southeast continue to show signs of ramping for produce.

Reefer is the preferred shipping method for produce. In the Southeast, tender rejections increased last week within Jacksonville, Lakeland, and Miami, Florida and seem to have normalized this week.

Jacksonville is now showing the most impact with a reefer rejection rate of 41%, the highest in the region. Miami and Jacksonville outbound volumes have dipped this week, but Lakeland continues to see increased volume where the majority of produce originates.

The increase in volume for in the region will be the trend for the coming months.  

In the South Central region, we can expect continued stability with a slight downturn in volume as the region cycles from winter to summer freight. The southern border metros saw a 12% uptick in tender rejections which could be a sign of the produce season beginning to ramp.

Finally, in Wisconsin, peak cheese production is tying up reefer capacity. Volume out of Green Bay is on the rise, leading to fewer trucks available in surrounding areas. Tender rejections were up 55% in the past month due to the 71,000 truckloads of cheese leaving the state. Winter weather will sweep through North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota this week, but no serious impact to capacity is expected.

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Damien Hutchins
Damien Hutchins is Senior Manager of Convoy's brokerage team, when he's not writing on the state of the freight market. He has held previous roles at tech startups in various industries over the past 15 years and focuses now on logistics and trucking from his hometown of Seattle. In his free time Damien can be found exploring in the Cascade Mountains, or taking long weekend road trips on his adventure motorcycle.