Reefer Report: Produce season starting line is just around the corner – DAT Freight & Analytics


One of many extra crucial dates on the annual produce calendar is the Vidalia onion “pack date,” signaling the beginning of the produce delivery season. Annually Vidalia onion devotees eagerly await the announcement of the pack date or time consumers will quickly have the ability to buy the product, which is just out there for a restricted time every year. The date is decided every year by the Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC), composed of trade members, agriculture scientists, and the Division of Agriculture, based mostly on soil and climate situations in 20 South Georgia counties. This 12 months’s pack date is April 17 and normally runs by means of to early September.

In line with Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper, “It’s an thrilling time for farmers and producers in our state and for shoppers throughout the nation as we look ahead to having fun with the candy onion as soon as once more. The Vidalia onion has grow to be a sought-after ingredient by skilled cooks and residential cooks alike, and we’re proud to develop them proper right here in Georgia.” The pack date is decided by soil and climate situations in the course of the rising season, contributing to high-quality Vidalia onions. 

From a freight market perspective, the 2023 produce season begins in Florida with fruits, together with strawberries and winter greens. Then it strikes north to Georgia and elements of South Carolina the place onion and peach growers compete for out there capability beginning a series response rising reefer demand from April by means of July 4 every year. 

Market Watch

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

Early indicators that produce season volumes will affect nationwide spot charges emerged final week in two key markets – California and Florida. For the primary time in 5 weeks, outbound linehaul charges in California elevated following final week’s $0.03/mile acquire to a state common of $2.04/mile. That’s equivalent to this time in 2019. Fresno spot market volumes have been up 8% w/w, making it 4 weeks of positive aspects reversing the three-week slide in spot charges, which elevated by a penny-per-mile. In Ontario, charges have been rising for the final month following final week’s $0.03/mile enhance to $1.92/mile. 

In Florida, the place produce season is absolutely underway, outbound reefer linehaul charges jumped by $0.19/mile to a state common outbound fee of $1.63/mile. In line with the USDA, weekly truckload volumes of produce in Florida are 14% greater y/y, with strong positive aspects reported in Lakeland, the most important produce market within the state, the place charges elevated by $0.15/mile to $1.43/mile reversing a three-week slide. Miami outbound charges at $1.54/mile have been up $0.18/mile after being flat for the prior two weeks. 

On the southern border in McAllen, reefer charges elevated by $0.03/mile to $2.34/mile following a 5% w/w enhance in quantity. In line with the USDA, weekly truckload produce volumes between Mexico and Texas are up 24% y/y, with most of that quantity crossing within the McAllen market. Hundreds to Atlanta have been flat at $2.60/mile, whereas masses north to Dallas have been down barely at $2.96/mile. 

Load to Truck Ratio (LTR)

Reefer load posts have dropped 15% within the final month following one other 2% w/w lower and at the moment are 20% under 2020. After being primarily flat for the earlier month, provider tools posts elevated by 2% final week, pushing down the reefer load-to-truck (LTR) from 2.70 to 2.61, nearly equivalent to LTR noticed in 2019 and 2020.

Spot Charges

At $1.98/mile, the nationwide common reefer linehaul fee was flat final week as early-season regional produce volumes in Florida and California present indicators of influencing capability nationally. Spot charges are 25% decrease than final 12 months and stay $0.11/mile greater than in 2019. 


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