Produce season is finally here and is picking up after the cold months. The winter months left most truckers off the roads due to harsh weather, but we can hear the engines starting up and the wheels are rolling again for most long-haulers.
In this market, shippers are put in a very time-sensitive position where they need their produce harvested, held, and shipped in a very small window of time. When we think about organic produce, that requires even faster delivery windows to the consumer.
If you are not a produce shipper during this season, you might see your own capacity and rates change. Likely, this will be because of carriers moving over to the high-paying produce loads. The entire economy experiences a shift in the market while produce is getting prioritized for shipping.
Capacity sourcing solutions
FTR Transportation Intelligence says 154.5 million truckloads of produce shipped in 2018, and a projected 166.9 million loads will go out in 2020. As demand increases, so do rates and capacity souring must be strategic.
Fortunately, Shipwell has a solution for everyone. Our TMS software gives shippers a platform to create orders, post freight on a private load board, and have shipment tracking and document management all in a single pane of glass on your computer or your mobile phone.
Instead of worrying about capacity sourcing, leave that to us. Our proprietary matching algorithm can help shippers and 3PLs find carriers that best match their freight needs. Using more than 700 data points, we identify potential carriers and recommend them to you from the Shipwell Load Board.
Shipwell’s Managed Services team offers 24/7 customer support and has developed a trusted network of over 800,000 drivers. Either do all the logistics in our app yourself or hand off the work to us and we will ensure your shipments get loaded and on the road.
Handling the time crunch
Of course, the dawn of the ELD brought up some alarming questions about the possibility of a truck being full of produce and having to shut off to maintain hours of service. Fortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted agricultural carriers a bit of leeway.
If the carrier is transporting within 150 miles of the loading site, the ELD does not have to be turned on. While that is good for getting from farm to the processing center, the shipments from there to anywhere else in the country must be regulated.
Shipwell uses carriers’ ELDs to give agricultural businesses the security and visibility to track their shipments in real-time.
If possible, consider having some of your produce ship intermodal to lighten the amount of reliance on over-the-road trucking. In some situations, this could end up being cost competitive with standard OTR shipping.
Also keep in mind the increase of trucks on the road means potentially longer delays, increased rates, and decreased capacity. While it is important to have a strategy for this, using a TMS can make a stressful season a productive one.
This produce season, work smarter not harder by using Shipwell’s world-class TMS software.