ltl trucking fleet driving down road between budding spring trees
03 Apr

How Seasonality Affects LTL Shipping

Spring is here, and what better time to dive into the ways seasonality affects LTL shipping? Understanding what to expect each time of year can help you plan for more efficient deliveries and budgeting, and prevent potential snafus along the way.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect when you’re shipping in each season.

Spring LTL Shipping

Spring is commonly known as the Produce Shipping Season, as produce is harvested and demand for fruits and vegetables increases. Because of this increased demand, shipping rates rise, and capacity tightens, which can make it more difficult for shippers to find LTL carriers.

As a result, carriers have their choice of which loads to take on during this time. Since produce is perishable, these shipments often cost more; for that reason, a carrier will likely take on a produce load before taking on more general goods. 

Year-round, but particularly in these more competitive shipping seasons, shippers should consider making accommodations that may make carriers more willing to take on their shipments. Ensuring you’ve noted the correct packaging dimensions and reconsidering oversized shipments are just a couple of ways you can ship smarter during the busy spring season.

Read More: How Shippers Can Appear More Attractive to Truckers

Summer LTL Shipping

Summer is the busiest time of year for LTL freight shipping. There are many reasons for this, but a few of the most obvious reasons are people moving and going on vacation, students getting ready to go back to school, and retailers and distribution centers preparing to meet all this demand. Manufacturers and distribution centers are shipping products to stores across the country as they prepare their warehouses for fall merchandise.

Because freight volume and freight rates reach their highest during the summer season, carriers will continue to be choosier with the shipments they take on; if your shipment involves a long-haul trip or special handling, you may be less likely to match up with an LTL carrier.  

Fall LTL Shipping

Fall is the peak shipping season as retailers prepare for holiday shopping. This means that manufacturers and distribution centers need to send goods on time to stores in order to get shelves stocked before the holidays begin. 

Demand, freight volume, and shipping costs typically increase to their highest during this period. The demand from consumers coupled with higher volume means that there are more shipments being sent out than usual to ensure store shelves are stocked.

Winter LTL Shipping

The peak shipping season continues through December and starts to wind down a bit after the new year. Winter is the slower season for the logistics industry. The air, ocean, and trucking industries are recovering from their busy 4th quarter and holiday seasons. 

During this time of year, LTL carriers may offer more competitive rates due to less demand than usual.

Get the Best Force Behind Your Freight No Matter the Season

Knowing the ins and outs of LTL shipping seasonality is one thing; working with a reliable logistics company that has your back-year-round is another.

Ground Force Logistics has an expansive network of LTL carriers, comprehensive shipping options, and a team of logistics experts that will pull out all the stops to get your goods delivered, no matter the season.

To get an instant, online LTL shipping quote now, click here to get started in just 3 steps.

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