The lengthy Independence Day weekend historically marks the height in produce transport volumes, and after a sluggish begin, nationwide volumes recovered to be up 11% y/y for the week ending July 4. National volumes have been nearly an identical to 2018 and 2019 volumes midway by means of 2023. Like final 12 months, climate has considerably impacted this 12 months, with California being affected probably the most following the sequence of atmospheric rivers that lashed the West Coast in January after which once more in March.
California volumes have been down 30% y/y, whereas Mexico produce imports elevated by 49% y/y as increased volumes from throughout the Southern border stuffed the availability void left by growers in California struggling to catch up. Produce volumes within the Southeast area have been up 2% y/y – Georgia volumes have been up 11% y/y, whereas the impression of Hurricane Ian late final 12 months wreaked havoc in Florida as growers completed the season 26% behind final 12 months.
In accordance with the USDA, the High 5 USDA commodities shipped by quantity YTD by means of the week ending 6/29/23:
- Potatoes +7% YTD
- Tomatoes +10% YTD
- Lettuce +1% YTD
- Watermelons +22% YTD
- Apples -2% YTD
All charges cited beneath exclude gasoline surcharges until in any other case famous.
Outbound linehaul charges in California elevated by $0.10/mile to $2.63/mile final week, led by strong features in Stockton, the place charges jumped to $2.55/mile (up $0.17/mile w/w). Masses from Stockton to Phoenix paid carriers $2.13/mile, the very best since final December. In neighboring San Francisco, linehaul charges averaged $2.26/mile following the earlier week’s $0.03/mile improve (after dropping for the three earlier weeks). On the long-haul lane from Salinas to Hunts Level, NY, charges averaged $2.24/mile in June, the very best in 12 months, and $0.07/mile increased than the earlier 12 months.
The USDA reported a slight scarcity of vans for watermelons and tomatoes in South Carolina final week, leading to a $0.46/mile spike in reefer spot charges to a median of $2.83/mile within the Columbia market. Nonetheless, linehaul charges are $0.30/mile decrease than the earlier 12 months. Regional hundreds from Columbia to Baltimore paid carriers $3.44/mile final week, $0.62/mile decrease than the earlier 12 months however the highest since final June. Capability was tight in Jacksonville final week, the place spot charges jumped by $0.49/mile to $2.47/mile. Masses 1,200 miles north to Boston paid carriers a median of $2.63/mile final week, $0.04/mile decrease than the earlier 12 months.
Load to Truck Ratio (LTR)
After a sluggish begin, produce season lastly delivered with June volumes inside 3% of final 12 months (or the equal of two,300 fewer truckloads of produce this season). Regardless of the robust end, produce volumes weren’t sufficient to raise the temperature-controlled freight market out of its droop. Total, reefer spot market volumes dropped by 38% final week, barely increased than the long-term common of 35% within the week after July 4. Service tools posts have been 14% decrease final week and nearly an identical to 2019 ranges, ensuing within the reefer load-to-truck ratio (LTR) dropping by 28% w/w from 5.32 to three.83.
Reefer spot charges predictably cooled off additional following final week’s $0.02/mile lower. At $2.07/mile, the nationwide common linehaul charge is $0.25/mile decrease than the earlier 12 months and $0.10/mile increased than in 2019. Produce season sometimes lifts spot charges by round $0.26/mile between mid-April and the lengthy July 4 weekend; nonetheless, that improve was simply $0.16/mile this 12 months.
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