Shipping freight across the globe is a complex process that requires careful consideration of seasonal trends. In this blog post, we will explore the four freight shipping seasons and discuss how they affect the transportation of goods.
With a better understanding of the seasonal freight trends, businesses can better plan their logistics and ensure their goods arrive on time.
What are the freight shipping seasons?
The freight shipping industry, also known as the supply chain, is impacted by seasonal changes throughout the year. These fluctuations significantly impact spot market rates, freight market availability, and other factors. Each season brings unique opportunities and challenges, so it’s essential to understand the four freight shipping seasons.
The Quiet Shipping Season (January – March):
Freight demand is typically low, and capacity is abundant during this period. This makes it easier to find available trucks and negotiate lower rates. However, carriers may still increase fuel surcharges during these months due to higher diesel fuel prices.
The Produce Shipping Season (April – July):
This is when truckload shipping of fresh produce begins. As a result, the capacity becomes scarce as carriers focus on hauling fruits and vegetables. The tight capacity can drive up spot market rates and make it difficult to find reliable pages.
The Holiday Shipping Season (November – January):
During this season, the demand for shipping increases due to holiday shopping. This leads to higher spot market rates and increased pressure on the freight market. As such, businesses must plan to secure their needed capacity and avoid disruptions.
The Peak Shipping Season (August – October):
This season is the busiest year, with strong demand and reduced capacity. Rates are typically highest during this period, and carriers may be hesitant to accept shipments that involve long-haul trips or require special handling.
By understanding the different freight shipping seasons, businesses can better decide when to ship their products and what carriers to use. This knowledge can help them save time and money while ensuring their cargo is delivered on time.
The Quiet Shipping Season (January – March)
The Quiet Shipping Season is the year when freight demand is the lowest, and supply chain disruptions are minimal. This season falls between January and March. During this time, shippers can benefit from reduced capacity in the freight market and take advantage of lower spot market rates.
In the Quiet Shipping Season, truckload shipping is often less expensive than in other freight shipping seasons due to decreased demand. As a result, many shippers will use this season as an opportunity to fill their warehouses. In addition to reduced rates, the Quiet Shipping Season typically comes with lower fuel surcharges, meaning a further reduction in shipping costs.
The Produce Shipping Season (April – July)
During the Produce Shipping Season (April – July), the supply chain is tested as shipments of perishable items are sent all over the country. Truckload shipping of fruits, vegetables, and other perishables, such as seafood, is widespread during this period. The demand for transportation services during this time increased dramatically, resulting in reduced capacity and higher spot market rates in the freight market.
Shipping prices during this period can be high due to increased competition among carriers. Fuel surcharges, associated with increasing fuel costs, can also cause shipping rates to rise.
While the Produce Shipping Season may be difficult for many shippers, carriers must be prepared to handle the demand. Shippers should plan and book their transport services early to ensure successful deliveries. Carriers should also ensure that their fleets have enough trucks and trailers for the peak season by utilizing dry van rentals or other expanding methods.
The Peak Shipping Season (August – October)
The Peak Shipping Season is the busiest time of the year for freight shipping, as supply chains are typically most active in the late summer and early fall. During this period, freight market capacity is reduced, resulting in higher spot market rates for truckload shipping. Fuel surcharges can also increase during this time due to a spike in demand, adding to the shipping cost.
Shippers looking to move goods in the Peak Shipping Season must plan, as there may not be enough capacity to accommodate their needs if they wait until the last minute. Dry van carriers tend to fill up quickly, so shippers should begin researching rates and booking capacity well before they need it. By understanding the impact of the Peak Shipping Season on the freight market, shippers can make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes.
The Holiday Shipping Season (November – January)
For freight shipping companies, the period from November to January marks the Holiday Shipping Season. This is the busiest time of year for freight shipments due to increased consumer demand during the holidays. During this season, supply chains are strained, and capacity is often reduced. As a result, the spot market rates for freight transportation tend to be much higher than normal.
Truckload shipping is particularly affected during this season. While fuel surcharges may not change drastically, the price for dry van shipments can double or even triple. Shippers must plan and book their shipments as soon as possible to secure the best rates. This also helps ensure that their freight arrives on time for the holidays.