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2021 Pumpkin Season, Potential Shortage

A batch of pumpkins.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- With Halloween and Thanksgiving around the corner, pumpkins will begin shipping in September. Every year, more than 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are transported around the country.  

Pumpkins are grown in the warm season and by the time October shows up, retailers around the U.S. will be ready to put them on the shelves. Pumpkins are delicate to ship and require industry expert knowledge to guarantee the fruit is moved properly. 

In 2020, the COVID-19 crisis impacted farmers in different ways. When the pandemic struck, the produce industry was hit hard with shortages. Today, as COVID-19 cases begin to rise again, the industry will continue to see scarcity.  

How does the 2021 pumpkin season look?  

Pumpkins will potentially be in short supply this year.  

Last year, 50,000 acres of pumpkins were planted across the U.S. Looking ahead to 2021, we are seeing a shortage due to phytophthora pumpkin blight, a fungal infection that can potentially wipe out crops. The infection is hitting the Midwest, known as “the keep pumpkins growing region” with states such as Illinois being affected according to information reported by NPR. 

Shortage Causes 

  • Pumpkin shortage  
  • Labor shortage  
  • Pumpkin blight  

Pumpkin Transportation 

Shipping loads of pumpkins requires following a specific protocol. Strategic packaging, storage and shipment in temperature and humidity-controlled trailers, allow pumpkins to be purchased in time for the holidays. 

Pumpkins, like any other fruit, have to be handled with care. If damage to the pumpkins does occur it can release ethylene which causes rotting or ripening of the commodity, ruining the entire load.  

Pumpkin Logistics Solutions

Temperature-controlled vehicles are vital when transporting pumpkins and other produce. At FWF, our advanced transportation management system, experts, and pre-qualified carrier network allows for close monitoring throughout the supply chain.   

FWF’s industry experts provide elite logistics solutions that enhance the business decision-making process. Our mission is to create long-term relationships with customers, carriers, and vendors built through service and reliability.  

FWF provides complete logistics services, from RFP execution and procurement of core carrier base to tendering, tracking, and bill pay. Providing reliable capacity that streamlines the shipping process for time-sensitive freight, we ensure products are delivered efficiently. 


With the shortages that have occurred the past year due to COVID-19, pumpkins may continue to see a shortage for this upcoming Fall season of 2021 due to blight.  

Pumpkins can be a difficult commodity to move. Through an extensive carrier network, FWF will match the right carrier for every load. We secure capacity with the safest and most reliable trucking companies in the industry.

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