Reefer Report: It’s still a sweet produce season after all – DAT Freight & Analytics

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By Christina Ellington

Summer time celebrations and berries go hand and hand, from patriotic-themed desserts highlighting strawberries and blueberries to summer time traditions of choosing berries from native farmers. They play a key function in summer time festivities. In accordance with a latest article, this season’s harvest shall be sturdy regardless of headwinds from climate to elevated prices. 

Naturipe Farms based mostly in Salinas, CA, had one in all its most difficult spring climate patterns in years, mentioned Kasey Kelley, senior director of enterprise growth. “Within the Southeast, we had a number of freeze occasions cut back the blueberry crop. California additionally had some freeze occasions, with fluctuating temperatures in the course of the spring that affected each the strawberries and the blueberries.” 

“We face many price challenges this 12 months, as most supplies and inputs have seen a couple of 25% improve in prices throughout the board,” he mentioned. “Provide chain challenges have additionally affected how we supply packaging supplies, so there’s much less room for error in planning.”

In accordance with USDA knowledge, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries YTD volumes are up 12% y/y and monitoring on the highest quantity during the last 5 years. Imports from Mexico have carried many of the quantity for blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries this 12 months and are up 19% y/y. California (up 6% y/y) and the Southeast (up 14% y/y) areas have had a robust strawberry season. As we transfer into July, strawberry volumes ought to stay sturdy out of California, and blueberry volumes will begin to improve out of the Pacific Northwest and Northeast areas.  

All charges cited under exclude gasoline surcharges except in any other case famous.

Within the lead-up to final weekend’s Independence Day celebrations, reefer capability tightened in California following final week’s $0.07/mile improve to an outbound common of $2.58/mile. Of all the most important California freight markets, capability was the tightest in Stockton, the place reefer spot charges spiked, rising by $0.18/mile to $2.75/mile. Hundreds from San Francisco to Seattle returned to the identical degree because the earlier 12 months at $4.21/mile, whereas hundreds from Fresno to Seattle elevated to $3.90/mile or $0.47/mile decrease than the final 12 months. Decrease outbound produce volumes in Fresno dragged down linehaul charges to $2.22/mile for hundreds to Hunts Level, NY, that are $1.21/mile decrease than the earlier 12 months.

In Savannah, GA, reefer outbound common spot charges elevated for the fourth week to $2.76/mile following final week’s $0.13/mile improve. That’s additionally up $0.54/mile within the earlier month. Capability from Savannah to Orlando tightened within the lead-up to July 4, with spot charges averaging $4.45/mile final week, up $0.74/mile over the Might common however nonetheless $0.18/mile decrease than the earlier 12 months. On one of many busiest reefer lanes, hundreds from Atlanta to Orlando have been flat final week at $3.30/mile or virtually $0.70/mile decrease y/y. Within the Pacific Northwest, regional reefer spot charges elevated by $0.10/mile final week to $1.79/mile. In distinction, on the excessive quantity lane from Portland to Inexperienced Bay, linehaul charges proceed to chill, averaging $1.46/mile final week or simply over $1.00/mile decrease than this time in 2021. 

The present quantity of long-haul produce, as reported by the USDA, is round 17% decrease than this time final 12 months and the bottom since 2017. That’s the equal of simply over 300,000 fewer month-to-month truckloads of fruit and greens for June in comparison with the earlier 12 months. Load posts elevated final week by simply 3%, whereas gear posts decreased by 6%. Consequently, the reefer load-to-truck (LTR) ratio elevated barely to eight.37.

In accordance with USDA knowledge, weekly truckload volumes of produce originating in California are on observe to be at their lowest degree recorded within the final 20 years. As of final week, June’s truckload produce quantity within the Golden State was 29%, or simply over 58,000 decrease than the common of June volumes going again to 2000. This has considerably impacted reefer charges this produce season following final week’s $0.03/mile improve within the nationwide common reefer spot fee. In non-pandemic years, reefer linehaul charges sometimes improve by $0.18/mile throughout June; this 12 months, they’ve dropped by $0.07/mile month-to-date. At $2.32/mile, reefer spot charges are at present $0.55/mile decrease than the earlier 12 months however $0.21/mile increased than the pre-pandemic common for this time of the 12 months.

Learn the total weekly market replace.

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