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Shoppers thankful for falling food prices, but shippers feel the strain

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Shopping for Thanksgiving dinner favorites may have induced some serious sticker shock, but there’s good news on the horizon for consumers ahead of Christmas and other upcoming holidays. According to commodity analysis from Bloomberg, global inflation has peaked, and food prices will soon see marked declines. In fact, “Deflation is already visible in large swathes of food categories, including fish, legumes and certain kinds of meat and vegetables.” 

This long-awaited shift can be explained by the fact that record-high prices for food over much of 2022 encouraged farmers and ranchers worldwide to boost production. Economists and other market observers predict that this new glut of products will inevitably lead to a drop in prices. As one of the most reliable sources of information on global food-cost trends, the FAO Food Price Index already showed prices leveling out or starting to decline in October and is expected to post an even more significant decrease in international food prices this month. 

Even despite Russia’s blockade of agricultural shipments from Ukraine, “the UN-brokered deal to restart Ukrainian grain exports […] should bring a further drop in corn and wheat prices,” according to the Washington Post. Plus, many of the supply-chain bottlenecks resulting from the pandemic are clearing, creating better conditions for all products to reach customers and bringing prices back down to pre-pandemic levels. 

While these developments are largely positive, the combination of lower food prices with upcoming winter-holiday food demands can create new shipping challenges. As any transportation-industry leader knows, when consumers’ buying habits change, their demands lead to a ripple effect across the supply chain. In this case, shoppers eager to stock up on less expensive food as well as their urgency to purchase seasonal ingredients ahead of family gatherings and parties can put an extra strain on shipping, especially given the persistence of labor shortages and instability across the industry. 

Fortunately, Shipwell’s innovative TMS solutions can help to mitigate these and other upcoming transportation challenges. 

When your goal is to keep food products moving to meet urgent demand, you need an integrated nationwide network of carriers you can count on. Shipwell’s network includes over two million ELD-connected units combined with enhanced analytics and cutting-edge automation capabilities, enabling you to increase efficiency as well as reduce freight costs, waste, and spoilage — all of which help to ensure quality goods are delivered on time while keeping costs down for consumers as well as building trust and repeat business. 

Another way to accomplish the goal of improving efficiency while keeping shipping costs low is by putting our load and route optimization tools to good use. Especially given the sheer volume of food products moving from one side of the country to another this holiday season, you’ll benefit from the ability to consolidate orders to make the most of freight space. Plus, the Shipwell platform comes with built-in options to uncover the best mode, route, and carrier options — eliminating the need for manual processes and third-party applications. 

Weather can be unpredictable year round, but increased chances of snow, ice, and freezing rain around the winter holiday season can wreak havoc on road conditions, often leading to long delays for freight. But while we can’t influence the weather, we can offer the best in end-to-end visibility, including Responsive ETAs that take into account upcoming weather and traffic conditions and monitor the locations of active shipments. When you have an up-to-the-minute view of impending issues, you’re empowered to make the best decisions for rerouting or making other adjustments to keep deliveries moving as smoothly and quickly as possible. 

For more information on how Shipwell can help you to increase the reliability and efficiency of your food distribution network and prevent disruption during the chaotic holiday season, download our guide to reducing spoilage, uncovering greater savings and increasing flexibility in your food supply chain, or schedule a demo today.