Now that winter is almost over, demand for seasonal products such as flowers, plants and produce continues to grow. Shippers who transport goods from the Southern United States to the Midwestern and Northeastern United States will want to make sure their seasonal shipping knowledge continues to blossom.
If you ship fresh seasonal products, here are the six shipping facts you should know:
1. Shippers will normally move product from the Southern United States to colder climates
Shipments of springtime plants, produce and seasonal goods originate in the Southern United States since its climate allows for year-round growing seasons. Shipments are often picked up from small farmers and nursery operators. They are then transported to garden centers and nurseries throughout the Midwestern and Northeastern United States, such as Home Depot, Lowes and Menards.
2. Nursery and produce shipments peak around Mother’s Day
Peak shipping season for seasonal nursery and produce shipments starts in February and lasts until July. The highest shipment volumes occur around Mother’s Day due to increased demand for flowers and the start of Spring in the upper Midwestern United States. Therefore, demand for seasonal goods grown in the Southern United States is highest in May.
3. It is important to line up capacity early
Shippers of seasonal products should work with a 3PL to make sure they schedule shipments well in advance. We recommend planning shipments two months in advance of the day of pick up. This additional lead time will ensure products arrive to the Midwestern and Northeastern United States on time.
4. Most loads ship Multi-Stop Truckload
The most common mode of transportation for seasonal nursery and produce shipments is Multi-Stop Truckload. This means that if you have a shipment, the load could make multiple stops while in transit. Many large nurseries and gardening centers will ship Multi-Stop Truckload since they often ship enough product where it is more cost effective than creating multiple less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments.
5. The right equipment is key to shipping seasonal shipments
Seasonal products such as flowers and produce require the use of refrigerated equipment such as refrigerated trailers and lift gates. The type of product that is shipped helps determine whether to use dry van or temperature-controlled trailers.
Nursery items and produce can ship using dry van trailers. However, shippers requiring large-scale moves will want to secure a provider with temperature control capabilities. This allows large-scale shipments to arrive to the destination without damage.
6. You will need a temperature-controlled trailer if outside temperatures are below freezing
Depending on the time of year, you will need a refrigerated trailer. It is not unusual to need temperature-controlled trailers if winter weather conditions extend beyond typical winter months. Fortunately, the shipping experts at Ascent Global Logistics can help you make sure your shipments are protected while in transit.
How can I learn more about seasonal nursery and produce shipments?
If you would like to schedule a time to discuss seasonal shipment options, please contact us or reach out to your Ascent Global Logistics representative directly.
To learn more about shipping best practices for seasonal goods, please subscribe to our weekly newsletter, CLIFF NOTES, if you have not done so already.