Weekly Freight Market Update: Produce Season Starts to Squeeze Capacity
With the Vidalia onion harvest officially underway, over 200 million pounds of the bulb vegetable will start moving from now through August. This is a major indicator that produce season has arrived in southern Georgia, and it’s continuing to move northward.
Specialized equipment, such as flatbed trailers, will begin to relocate from neighboring markets while capacity for dry vans and vented dry vans will also be strained within the region.
The effects of spring harvests can be seen through increasing tender rejection rates in southern Georgia and northern Florida. Surrounding metros have already showed signs of tightening capacity, with week-over-week outbound tender rejections up in Savannah (32%) Jacksonville (42%) and Tifton (28%).
Additionally, produce shipments in Texas are leading to tender rejection rate increases in Laredo and San Antonio. Despite increased produce volume, national volume decreased 2.9% week over week.
Roadcheck 2019 is coming
The market will also be impacted by fuel rate increases for the summer. This week diesel rates increased for the third week in a row, bringing the national diesel rate per gallon to $3.15.
The rising fuel rates and harvesting produce remind us that summer is right around the corner which also means Roadcheck is coming. Last year the DOT focused on ELD enforcement, while this year inspectors will be checking for steering and suspension violations. Shippers should start planning now to keep high priority loads off the dock during the week of June 4th.
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