Loadsmart Resource Center

Don’t Let Strawberries Be The Straw That Breaks Your Capacity’s Back

As the weather starts to get warmer, the rise in temperatures not only signals the end of winter, but serves as a reminder to the North American truckload market that produce season is coming. Even if you’re not directly involved in shipping produce, this time of year still has a significant impact on trucking capacity, especially in light of factors like the OTR driver shortage and the approaching Memorial Day and July 4th holidays.

Small and mid-sized businesses are particularly affected by the volatile spot rates and spikes in shipping demand produce season generates annually. From the race to get these time-sensitive shipments to market to the struggles surrounding securing capacity, the ripple effect on national and regional markets is felt by most shippers whether they realize the cause of their pain or not. 

To be prepared, it’s important for SMB shippers to know what to expect in the coming months – and to be ready. Here are a few of the steps you can take to prepare your shipping operations and to help mitigate produce season disruption:

Diversify Your Carrier Base

When the market is tight, one of the top ways to ensure you are securing capacity without heavily sacrificing on service or price is to diversify your carrier base. Companies can use this valuable strategy to distribute their risk more widely by relying on a larger number of carrier partners. This can help you better navigate fluctuating market conditions brought on by produce seasonality.

It’s an approach that can be easier said than done, however, and adding carriers just for the sake of it will not be helpful and finding trusted carrier partners can be that much harder. Having a tool that equips you to find carriers when the market tightens is a need for small and mid-sized shippers. An example of that type of tool can be a freight management software, such as ShipperGuide, where shippers can find relief in the pressure of finding reliable capacity, especially during a volatile market. Inside ShipperGuide, small and mid-sized carriers have access to over 45K carries in a centralized location, all with 100% tender acceptance. 

Leverage Alternative Modes for Optimization

By leveraging alternative modes, including rail and LTL, shippers can optimize their shipments for cost, speed, and even sustainability. Rather than seeking out multiple quotes for FTL and rail options, small and mid-size shippers can also save time by working with a digital freight technology leader offering the data and intelligence necessary to compare options and make the best routing decision instantly. Along with, gaining additional leverage in carrier negotiations based on data surrounding carrier’s performance.

Make The End-to-End Freight Process Easier

Not sure how to find access to more carriers or to be sure what transportation mode meets your freights’ requirements during the busy produce season? You’re not alone. However, ShipperGuide, empowers shippers to plan, procure and execute freight in one place. That can mean gaining access to Loadsmart’s vetted carrier network, or booking with their own trusted carriers to move loads to where they need to be, quickly and efficiently. Which can all make strawberry season that much sweeter. 




About Loadsmart

We are industry veterans and data-scientists using innovative technology to fearlessly reinvent the future of freight. As the ‘nerds of logistics’, we seek intelligence in data to solve deep-rooted inefficiencies in the industry. We give shippers, brokers and carriers access to our data connections (linking supply and demand) and suite of award-winning solutions to strike the perfect balance of cost and service. We’re creating a more efficient and environmentally responsible way to move more with less. For more information, please visit: https://loadsmart.com

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