Reefer Report: America’s favorite vegetable is experiencing a supply shortage – DAT Freight & Analytics


In response to USDA knowledge, potatoes are the primary specialty crop by quantity for refrigerated delivery. As well as, potatoes have the distinctive capability to be shipped year-round despite the fact that the harvest season has ended. When appropriately saved, potatoes can stay in storage till the following harvest, and that is the driving issue behind the current scarcity. Potatoes ship from each area within the U.S. and the Pacific Northwest is the very best producer accounting for practically 50% of the provision. 

The present scarcity primarily stems from Idaho resulting from a poor 2021 harvest. “The Idaho potato trade as an entire is going through extraordinarily quick provides from August to September,” says Donald Russo, senior class supervisor for the Bronx, N.Y.-based Baldor Specialty Meals. Extremely popular, dry and smoky situations throughout the 2021 rising season lower down 25%-30% of yields throughout Idaho. “Poor climate throughout the rising season actually decreased quantity, and the standard of open storage-shed potatoes didn’t maintain up,” mentioned Russo. 

“It’s common for there to be a scarcity of Idaho potatoes in August,” mentioned Idaho Potato Fee President and CEO Jamey Higham. “We plant just one potato crop a yr, which is harvested in September, and our aim yearly is to promote all of the potatoes earlier than the brand new crop is harvested. This yr, the scarcity occurred a bit of sooner than in earlier years. Harvest is getting underway this week, and manufacturing will ramp up over the following a number of weeks,” Higham mentioned. “Potato provides can be again in full swing quickly.”

All charges cited beneath exclude gas surcharges until in any other case famous.

The Michigan produce season continues to develop larger weekly volumes tightening reefer capability following final week’s 30% w/w leap in load posts. Within the Saginaw market, reefer linehaul charges elevated by $0.17/mile to an outbound common of $2.79/mile final week. On the high-volume reefer lane from Saginaw to Tallahassee, spot charges have elevated by over $1.00/mile since June to a median of $3.07/mile final week. 

In South Texas within the McAllen market, the USDA reported a surplus of vans final week, with spot charges dropping for the fourth week to a median of $2.02/mile. Hundreds 1,500 miles east to Miami had been paying barely larger at $2.05/mile, round $0.50/mile decrease than the earlier yr, whereas the McAllen to Lakeland lane was a lot larger at $2.35/mile. Hundreds northeast to Hunts Level, NY, proceed to slip and, at $1.87/mile final week, are actually simply over $2.00/mile decrease than the 12-month excessive of $3.91/mile in the beginning of the yr. 

As shippers continued to place last-minute temperature-controlled freight forward of final weekend’s Labor Day celebration, reefer load posts elevated by 4% final week. In comparison with the earlier yr, volumes are round half what they had been on the finish of August and round 23% decrease than this time in 2020 throughout the early phases of the pandemic financial restoration.  There was little or no change in tools put up volumes final week, leaving the reefer load-to-truck (LTR) ratio primarily unchanged at 7.36.

Just like the flatbed sector, reefer linehaul charges are actually inside $0.02/mile of 2018 spot charges following final week’s $0.02/mile lower to a nationwide common of $2.24/mile. Reefer spot charges are $0.63/mile decrease than the earlier yr after dropping by virtually $1.00/mile for the reason that begin of the yr. Final week’s common spot fee continues to be $0.28/mile larger than the pre-pandemic August common.


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