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The produce shipping season on the United States East Coast is an intricate time for shippers and carriers. Spanning from March through October, the period showcases an array of fruits and vegetables that are made available thanks to the varying climates across different states. Understanding the nuances of this season is crucial for trucking companies and shippers alike, as it impacts shipping demand, rates, and capacity—particularly during its peak in June.

The East Coast’s produce shipping season is primarily influenced by the climate of different regions. Warmer states like Florida and California kick off the season, shipping fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, avocados, mangoes, and bananas as early as March. In contrast, cooler states like New York and Pennsylvania start shipping their produce later in the season.

The produce season draws to a close with the arrival of late-season tomatoes and peppers.

As the season progresses, shipments from northern regions become available, leading to an increase in produce variety. By summer, an abundance of fruits and vegetables are available in the East Coast markets, including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, corn, watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, and apples.

The trucking industry experiences significant effects during this time. The surge in produce shipments translates into higher demand for refrigerated trucks to preserve the perishable cargo. The heightened demand often leads to tighter capacity and increased transportation rates, especially during the peak season. Shippers planning to transport produce during this period should consider these factors and incorporate them into their transportation planning to ensure a smooth and efficient process.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the East Coast’s produce shipping season:


The season commences with the arrival of Florida citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. Additionally, avocados, mangoes, and bananas may also start shipping from Florida in March.


Produce from other southern states, like Georgia and North Carolina, begins shipping. This includes tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and squash. As the weather warms up, strawberries and blueberries may also become available from these states.


The season gains momentum as more produce becomes available from the East Coast. Strawberries, blueberries, and sweet corn are among the products that start shipping. Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew may also make an appearance from southern states.


The peak of the season arrives with a wide variety of produce available. This includes watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, eggplant, and zucchini. As the weather gets warmer, other produce like corn, peppers, and tomatoes also join the selection.


The season begins to wind down, but there is still a good selection of produce available. Apples, peaches, and nectarines become prominent choices during this time. Additionally, squash, cucumbers, and peppers may still be available.


The season draws to a close with the arrival of late-season tomatoes and peppers. Other produce like eggplant and zucchini might still be available as well.

The East Coast’s produce shipping season offers an opportunity to transport fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. For those planning to ship produce during this time, it’s essential to prepare adequately for the heightened demand for refrigerated trucks and the potential for higher transportation rates.

Here are some valuable tips for shipping produce during the season

Start Planning Early: With the high demand for refrigerated trucks during the produce shipping season, early planning is crucial to secure transportation capacity.

Choose a Reputable Carrier: Working with an experienced and reputable carrier ensures that your produce shipment is in capable hands, reducing the risk of any mishaps.

Be Prepared for Higher Rates: Expect transportation rates for refrigerated trucks to be higher during the peak season, so budget accordingly.

Thoroughly Inspect Your Produce: Before shipping, meticulously inspect your produce to identify and address any defects that could impact its quality during transit.

Properly Pack and Label Your Produce: Ensure your produce is packed in a manner that minimizes the risk of damage during transportation. Clear and accurate labeling is also crucial for efficient handling and delivery.


The produce shipping season on the East Coast of the United States is a dynamic and vibrant period, marked by an abundance of fruits and vegetables from different regions. Spanning from March through October, this season is heavily influenced by the varying climates across states, leading to a gradual increase in produce variety as the months progress.

The season’s impact extends beyond consumers, significantly affecting the trucking transportation industry. With the increased demand for refrigerated trucks to preserve the perishable cargo, transportation rates rise, and capacity becomes tighter, posing challenges for shippers and carriers alike.

Successful navigation through the produce shipping season requires foresight, planning, and collaboration. Shippers must begin their preparations early, ensuring they secure reliable and reputable carriers with experience in handling perishable goods. The careful inspection, proper packing, and accurate labeling of produce play pivotal roles in safeguarding the cargo’s quality throughout its journey.