Moving into the Holiday Fast Lane

Supply Chain, Transportation Industry

Moving into the Holiday Fast Lane

The holiday season is typically a busy time for the trucking and transportation industry. As consumers prepare for holiday dinners with family and friends, retail businesses are already announcing their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. In the United States, the focus on consumerism associated with this time of the year, pushes retail sales higher in preparation for holiday gift-giving.

Many people don’t really think about where their selected gifts come from; they jump on Amazon, find the right gift for a loved one, and place their order. Carriers, on the other hand, understand the logistics and level of effort required to get those packages delivered or to get the Thanksgiving turkeys to the grocery store. Many of the purchases made during the holiday season come from all around the world, and the trucking industry makes it all happen. The transportation of goods is the backbone of all that we consume during the holidays, yet highly forgotten for many.

E-Commerce Shopping this Holiday

We’ve all learned to do more online, even the less savvy computer users. During the pandemic, it was essential to learn to shop, see the doctor, and communicate with our friends online to keep safe from COVID. Now that we have seen the time savings, not to mention reduced use of our costly gas-powered cars, we see the benefits of shopping online.

Online shopping rose over 16% last year, causing the demand for drivers to increase, especially during the holidays. With a shortage of drivers during non-holiday months, the scramble for seasonal drivers is on. The holidays have typically been the busiest time of the year for retailers, but with the surge in online shopping, many businesses are hoping that holiday business will help them finish the year strong. The extra purchases mean more cargo, which translates into more truckloads and tighter deadlines.  For consumers, we see online shopping as a way of easy and quick delivery of gifts and treats, but for the transportation industry, it is a ton of extra work to make it all happen.

Two-Day Shipping Offers

We are a people of instant gratification. When we purchase something online, we want to receive it as if we purchased it in a brick-and-mortar store – immediately. The popularity of e-commerce brands such as Amazon have reinforced and supported our desire for quick delivery. Amazon Prime has changed the shipping game for everyone. Amazon’s amazing delivery options have prompted others to step up to the fast-shipping paradigm. Walmart has jumped into the fray and is also offering two-day shipping. Both rivals are really working the shipping offers hard and now offer one- day, and sometimes, same-day shipping on thousands of their items. While this is convenient for the customer, it adds an immense amount of pressure on the transportation companies responsible for fulfilling these demands.

Increased Demand

In addition to all the bustle over holiday gifts, let’s not forget the increased demand for grocery items. Our gatherings for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations require shipments of higher quantities of many staples and specialty products. Your holiday turkey or Christmas ham needs to be delivered quickly to avoid spoiling, and timely to be available for the kitchen prep. Carriers may add additional hours to their schedules or begin 24-hour operations to meet the demand. Seasonal drivers are an important component of this holiday madness.

Busy Drivers, Full Truckloads, Happy Holidays

Busy drivers with plenty of supplies for the consumer pave the way for happy holidays and a healthy economy. It is too early to tell just how busy or how healthy our purchases and economy will prove to be this year. Our hopes are for a healthy and happy holiday season for all.

Keep your transportation business healthy and compliant with professional support from your North American Transportation Services Associates. We are here to help you stay on the road and profitable. Visit us today to see all the services we have to offer which take the pain out of operations and put your focus back on your core business!

North American Transportation Services Association (NATSA)