It can be tough to find a truck under the best of circumstances. But if, on top of everything else, the trucker's worried about getting stuck with a load of wilted broccoli, it can be nearly impossible. That's the challenge facing produce shippers these days. To address these and other problems, the Produce Marketing Association's (PMA) Transportation Task Force has published a brochure that outlines ways to make produce shipments more appealing to drivers and carriers.
The publication, Truck Transportation Best Practices for the Produce Industry, addresses a broad range of problems, including loading and unloading inefficiencies and rejected loads. Though it's intended for the entire produce industry supply chain, it includes specific advice for shippers (notify truckers in advance of expected loading delays) and receivers (have reps available 24 hours a day to help carriers find secondary markets for shipments rejected by the DC).
"Because the trucking industry is experiencing a significant shortage of drivers, the environment for finding trucks to haul anything is, and will continue to be, highly competitive," says PMA Transportation Task Force co-chairman Bill Schuler of Castellini Co., LLC. "We believe that many of the best practices [outlined in the guide] are very inexpensive to implement and result in greater efficiencies throughout the supply chain."
The best practices document is available free of charge on the PMA's Web site, www.pma.com/trucks.