Truck Freight Seasonality: How Your Business Can Plan Through It

October 1st, 2020 in Trucking Freight
Truck Freight Seasonality

The seasons of the year are associated with many traits; temperature, holidays, seasonal foods, and more. One event consistent with seasonality is the growing and shipping of crops as the season becomes warmer. 

Trucking freight costs and capacity have unpredictability and seasonal fluctuations around the produce season. During harvesting, the demand for trucking increases, and in turn, becomes more expensive to move goods northbound. This is the case regardless of the freight being produce related. 

For a business needing trucking service northwards from Texas or California to Canada, their costs can skyrocket depending on the time of the year. There are ways to manage these fluctuations within your supply chain.

The following information will inform you of the seasonality costs associated with trucking and the best way for your company to navigate around its disruptions and unpredictability.

What is Truck Freight Seasonality?

Seasonality refers to the changes in supply, demand, and costs that occur around the same time in the calendar year. Due to the fluctuations in produce shipping, the entire trucking industry is at the mercy of the farming year’s seasonality.

The start of warm seasons makes for extremely tight freight capacity out of southern states such as California and Texas. This comes with extremely expensive shipping costs northward, while southbound trucking becomes quite cheap.

Typically in Texas, the produce season maximizes costs around March to May, while in Southern California costs peak around May-June and June-July for Northern California.

For a company that needs to ship its goods, this seasonality can make it difficult to achieve its desired Q2 and Q3 objectives.

Overcoming Produce Season

One of the most common misconceptions to try and overcome the seasonality is by shopping transactionally for capacity to move freight. Transactional shopping involves making purchases with carriers one at a time, searching for the best price available for each shipment. Time and time again, this has shown to not be a cost-effective strategy to manage freight costs and lacks any consistency to attain targets.

What needs to be done to set and attain strong quarterly goals is achieving a sense of predictability with your freight costs.

By building a relationship with the right logistics company you can secure commitments for consistent pricing year-round. A consistent price allows your business to have accurate forecasts, predictable profit outcomes, and less required grind to find the best deals available whenever it becomes time to ship your goods.

OCL has carriers who are committed to year-round pricing based on a consistent volume to ensure our clients get the best freight cost and associated service possible. If your business requires trucking services in a seasonality impacted lane and if you want a logistics company you can trust, contact us!