Cinco de Mayo has always been a time of celebration that sees food and drink placed firmly in the spotlight, but thanks to compounding issues across the supply chain certain staples of the season may carry a higher price tag this year. Most notably, the price of avocados has risen 66% from last year, going from $37.15 per carton on April 30th of last year to $61.58 this year. Something that anyone putting out a spread of their signature guacamole today likely would have noticed.
While inflation is causing price increases on everything these days, avocado prices have also been impacted by supply issues. However, where we’ve seen demand outstripping supply create sourcing challenges and price increases with other items throughout the pandemic — toilet paper, aluminum cans, microchips, COVID tests, etc. — demand for avocados has been fairly stable, and growers haven’t experienced any significant shortages. Instead, the supply issues that lead to pricing issues here started with delays in getting them on the shelves. The shortage of drivers available to bring produce over from Mexico has brought extended delays to deliveries that were only exacerbated by the recent increased commercial inspections at the border.
A new report from Texas economist Ray Perryman estimates that Gov. Greg Abbott’s order cost Texas more than $4.2 billion in goods and services, and that while those orders have since been rescinded, it will take weeks to undo backups at bridges in Brownsville, El Paso and Laredo.
Freight issues are also contributing to rising food prices in addition to availability. For retailers looking for fresh produce, freight cost and availability along with its impact on the price of goods are among the most significant challenges. And with rising gas prices and the ongoing labor shortage affecting both the trucking industry and the farms themselves, prices on imported produce items like avocados are likely to remain high.
The good news is that we are now entering the peak growing season in major avocado producing states like California and Florida, so prices on locally grown options should decrease in the coming weeks — just not quite in time for the Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
Finding reliable trucks to ship fresh produce — or whatever it is your business needs to move — can be a frustrating and costly experience. Capacity is already tight, and the high demand placed on quick and efficient service creates challenges for everyone involved. To address the problems that shippers face during produce season, Shipwell’s platform focuses on innovative solutions for capacity and visibility.
Through our integrated nationwide network of carriers with over two million ELD-connected units paired with advanced analytics and powerful automation capabilities, Shipwell enables you to uncover opportunities to increase efficiency while reducing freight spend, waste and spoilage. And with live tracking that covers 96% of driving distance plus real-time monitoring paired with instant resolutions for proactive exception management, shippers can see a 98% on-time delivery and pickup rate.
To learn more about how Shipwell can help you to reduce shipping costs and boost on-time delivery rates to keep high-demand produce like avocados on the menu, schedule a demo today.