The Florida strawberry season is heating up, with crops come into the peak of the season earlier than usual. With approximately 10,000 acres planted and 180 million strawberries picked by hand each year, Florida is the second-largest strawberry-producing state in the nation.
This is according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). California ranks No. 1, owning 91% of production, but Florida produces the majority of the domestic winter strawberry crop, according to the Florida Strawberry Growers Association.
Florida growers say they expect to produce around 40 million “flats” or cases of strawberries, which translates to around 70 truckloads per day over the 16-week season.
With regard to the cooled transport option, looking at the latest data from FreightWaves , reefer outbound tender rejections in the Lakeland market are at 2.18% Friday, which is lower than this time last year.
Tender rejections indicate what percentage of loads offered by shippers are being turned down by carriers, specifically for reefer (temperatures-controlled trailer) freight in this case. Carriers often reject loads initially in high-volume areas because they have many options and can charge a higher rate on the spot market. With the Florida strawberry season just beginning, volumes are still low, as are rejections because carriers have to accept as many loads as possible right now.