Freight transporters have faced record-breaking challenges this past year, and as the world approaches the winter holiday season, there is troubling news for retailers and shoppers alike. The rapid spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, significant storms, and freight transporter obstacles have added significant strains to the supply chain industry, which is unlikely to see much reprieve before the upcoming busy season for products heading to, and within, the U.S. To help avoid stock-outs and sourcing hard-to-find products, companies and consumers will need to plan even further in advance than they have in previous years.
COVID-19’s Effects on Freight Transporters
COVID-19’s unprecedented wave of company closures and delays leaves an increase in demand for freight transporters, a decrease in the supply of new vehicles, truck driver shortages, and congestion at ports in its wake. Consumers can expect to see significant delays, steep shipping costs, and fewer options for gaming consoles, TVs, bikes, toys, diapers, and sneakers than what they have seen in pre-pandemic years.
Expected Holiday Demand
Retailers are carefully forecasting the upcoming demand to grow at least 7 percent compared to last year and more than 11 percent compared to two years ago, fueled by a rebound in in-store shopping. Retail executives are also expecting e-commerce holiday sales to grow about 35 percent compared to 2020. These increases could cause shoppers to face increased product prices, smaller inventories at their favorite stores, and fewer discounts on popular items.
Increasing Cost of Freight Transportation
As the demand continues to rise, the world is experiencing the most significant increase in freight transporters ever, and prices for shipping products have been growing at a historic pace to a 6.5 percent surge. Soaring consumer demand, oversaturated ports, too few trucks, and a lack of big rig drivers have sparked higher shipping costs. COVID-19 and the aging industry only exacerbate these issues. The elevated shipping prices will likely last through the end of 2021 at a minimum.
Work with your Freight Transporter to Plan Ahead
Planning will be crucial this holiday season for both retailers and the supply chain industry. As vaccines become more widely available and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, consumers are expected to return to all things holiday, including in-store shopping. It is recommended consumers anticipate four to six weeks for delivery, and companies are already planning to add more freight transporters to their fleet. To ensure your company logistics are ready for the return of the busiest season of the year, call East Coast Transport, LLC. Our seasoned staff can help supply your company with the new or used, best-in-class freight transporters to stock your product ahead of the busiest shopping season the world has ever seen.