Across North America, the supply chain is facing an unprecedented crisis. Transportation rates – the cost of trucking products from place to place – are rising, while the availability of equipment and manpower is falling. What does this mean for the industry, and what can we all do to help?
Rising Rates, Labor Shortages, and Other Challenges
Every day, companies ship goods across North America. From coast to coast, border to border, this is how essential products, including the food you eat every day, get to you. But, transportation comes at a price. In April of 2020, a load moving from California to Boston cost a produce company $6,400. In April of 2021, the cost was $10,600.
In the past, it wasn’t unheard of that peak demand summer rates rose to the $10,000 mark, but never in recent memory have rates risen this much so early in the year. In fact, experts predict that transportation rates could be 35 to 50 percent higher this summer than in previous years.
Why the rapid spike? A perfect storm of less than ideal conditions post pandemic shares a majority of the blame. Supply chain interruptions have made it difficult for shippers to secure equipment and drivers. Health and safety concerns during COVID-19 as well as the availability of stimulus and increased unemployment benefits have encouraged some drivers to leave the business altogether.
While it’s hard to predict the outcome, many industry leaders think this domino effect will continue for quite some time. For the time being the reality is this: higher prices and tighter truck supply.
How Gills Onions Can Help
So, what can you do to help alleviate the stress put on the shipping industry and still get products to market? When it comes to fresh produce – especially onions – one of the biggest boosts producers and customers can give is eliminating waste.
There are more than 400 truckloads of bulk onions shipped and consumed in the United States every day. The equivalent of one out of every three truckloads is waste. That means that growers, shippers, and customers are footing the bill to transport thousands of pounds of garbage.
When you purchase Gills Onions, you are buying 100% usable product. Every pound of onions that is shipped to you can be used in your kitchen. It also means that precious trucks aren’t wasted moving useless freight.
Eliminating waste also translates into financial savings for every part of the supply chain. With fresh cut, value-added produce, no one is footing the bill for transporting thousands of dollars of unusable material.
Thinking About Long-term Sustainability
Dedication to eliminating waste doesn’t just save money. It also helps the environment. When shippers can do more with fewer trucks on the road, it reduces emissions and fossil fuel consumption, wear and tear on infrastructure, and more.
While we have to face the realities of the current shipping crisis, we can’t forget the long-term effects that our choices make on the future of our planet. As an industry, we can make choices that help out shippers and customers and also move us toward a more sustainable status quo.
We’re grateful for the wonderful team at Gills Freight that moves our raw products from the fields to our processing facility. Without them, it would be impossible to get millions of pounds of the world’s best onions to America’s tables. We’re also grateful for the men and women all over the country who keep the supply chain up and running. Even in challenging times, we know that by working together, we can continue to do what we all do best.
Ready to try onions the Gills Way? For more information, contact our sales department.