Got reefers? It's time to move 'em on down to produce markets in the Southern states. Spring is finally here.
Load-to-truck ratios show tightening capacity this week in produce markets in the band of states along the southern border of the U.S., from Florida all the way to California. The load-to-truck ratio is based on the number of loads posted divided by truck posts in the same market, and it is is a key indicator of demand versus capacity on the spot market.
Biggest change: South Florida. The ratios more than doubled in one week for reefers outbound from South and Central Florida, where tomatoes, corn, melons, potatoes and assorted vegetables are now being harvested in Immokalee and Boynton Beach, according to my contact at the USDA. (By the way, the USDA identified a shortage of trucks in South Florida in its Fruit and Vegetable Truck Rate Report for May 1, and you can expect to see the others in next week's edition.)
Hottest markets: Tucson and Savannah. The number-one hot spot for reefers was the Tucson market, which includes the Mexican border crossing point in Nogales, AZ. Grapes are being imported Second hottest market for reefers this week was Savannah, which includes Vidalia, where the popular, sweet onion is abundant this year and blueberries are ripening in Manor, GA.
Next week's hot spots: McAllen and Miami. Watermelons are rolling across the Texas border to McAllen, where the outbound load-to-truck ratio shot from 13 to 24 this week as capacity continues to tighten.