It is safe to say that the holiday season is known to have a high impact on the logistics industry. Starting weeks before Thanksgiving through the end of the year, capacity has an enormous strain on supply chains throughout the country.
The Amazon Effect
It’s real. What has been known as the “Amazon Effect” is in fact a true shift being driven by consumers. This trend is continuing forcing a clear mindset change throughout the industry. Clients and consumers alike have increasingly high expectations of condensed transit to one or two days where in some cases it is not feasible. Additionally, with high volumes of consumer goods being shipped out, Amazon and other high volume shippers are recruiting extra capacity from the market, in turn shrinking available capacity during this time of year.
Now more than ever, we are in a time that the support and collaboration with our driver community is imperative. According to the American Trucking Association (ATA) president and CEO, the “industry is short 50,000 drivers. And if the trends continue, that number will double to 100,000 in just five years.” This has led to a strain throughout of carrier network nationwide. Adding to the shortage strain, the average age of a driver is currently 52 years old per the National Transportation Institute. It is believed that as the 12/18/17 ELD implementation date nears, drivers may opt to retire instead of adjusting to the new technology requirements. This would cause an even tighter market going into December and 2018.
Throughout the last months of the year, drivers begin to shift their routes to accommodate being home with their families for the holidays. Because of this, normal flexibility with route selections decrease leading to a lack of available capacity in certain areas. Additionally, many carriers take significate time off during these months to avoid hazardous weather and road conditions that come with winter climates.
The combination of these factors alone adds an extra layer of complexity to the holiday season. It is critical for organizations to have a clear line of internal communication so that supply chain departments can coordinate with their carrier partners in advance. For your transportation planning or consultation, reach out to Axle Logistics today at 888-440-1888.