A 3-year period of exceptional drought that lasted from 2014-2016 will not be an issue for the state of California this year. As good news for reefers suggests, the state has plenty of water.
The Sierra Nevada snowpack supplies about 30 percent of California’s water needs, as it melts in the spring to meet water demands throughout the summer and fall growing seasons. The Sierra mountains are the fifth largest in the past 40 years, and many of the state’s reservoirs are at above-average levels.
Top reefer market
Four of the top five reefer markets last year were in California. The only other market was Atlanta, Georgia. California grows more produce than any other state, and that’s a huge driver of reefer demand in the spring and summer. The remaining markets ranked in the top 10 by the DATrateView are Philadelphia (PA), Chicago (IL), Joliet (IL), Elizabeth (NJ) and Dallas (TX). Severe drought conditions in California can lead to a loss of crops and livestock. But even a moderate drought can affect crop yields or shorten the growing season, reducing demand for reefers. In addition, the state’s reefer demand affects capacity in the van and flatbed segments as well, as power units are diverted to cover the higher-paying loads out West.