’Tis that special time of year, when shops decorate their storefronts, latte’s take on the tastes of the season, holiday music fills the air, and consumers across North America turn to their computers to purchase gifts and goodies for that special someone. As the holiday season is now less than a month away, trucking companies are preparing to handle the influx of products and parcels that need to be transported and delivered. Both the increase in e-commerce and the decrease in individuals pursuing a career in trucking have affected the industry, but to what extent?
The Growth of E-commerce
E-commerce is not new, but it continues to capture the hearts of consumers across North America as both large and small businesses adopt their own e-commerce platforms to distribute products and goods. If business owners choose to forgo implementing e-commerce on their website, many choose to instead turn to companies like Amazon, to showcase and sell their items.
Although Walmart still holds the title as the world’s largest retailer, Amazon comes in at a close third, as it continues to add new items on a regular basis and expand into additional markets. In fact, it was estimated in January of this year that Amazon now features 398,040,250 products. It comes as no surprise then that over 1 billion items were shipped from Amazon during the 2016 holiday season!
With retail and e-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart, moving to retain their dominance in the market, we can expect to see an increase in the number of items bought online this holiday season, which means that trucking companies need to be prepared for this influx.
A few are already preparing for the season!
More Talent, More Shipments, More Distribution Centers
During the holidays it is not uncommon to see UPS, FedEx or Canada Post trucks on highways and city streets as they work to transport packages from distribution centers to homes and businesses. Despite the difficult year that the trucking industry has seen in regards to the driver shortage, these companies are finding ways to hire more talent for the upcoming season.
UPS, who delivered over 750 million packages during the 2016 holiday rush, is preparing for this coming season by offering temporary positions to 95,000 people.
FedEx on the other hand, is looking to hire approximately 50,000 seasonal workers. In addition, they are increasing the number of aircraft and drop-off centers and are even choosing to enhance current technologies and automation with an investment of 1.5 billion dollars!
Canada Post has not yet released their plans for this holiday season, but we can expect the same response as last year as they hired 2500 seasonal workers and increased their fleet by 900 vehicles for a short period.
While many trucking companies cannot afford to hire thousands of seasonal workers to help share the load, several are choosing to increase wages and provide bonuses to entice individuals to enter into the industry. With the addition of distribution centers, and the adoption of a low-volume/ high-frequency shipping system, rather than the typical high-value/ low volume approach, drivers may find themselves sticking closer to home, which could resolve the outstanding issue that the industry faces of maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
How TRAFFIX is Preparing for the Season
At TRAFFIX, we know the importance of establishing an incredible team of individuals to help share the load. That is why we have been steadily increasing the number of people on our Dispatch, Freight Brokerage, Carrier Sales and Customer Service teams in our offices in Milton, Toronto, Chicago, and Dallas.
We understand that the shipment of freight never stops, which is why we continue to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year! There will be no time when a TRAFFIX team member is not on duty, especially during the holiday season, to deal with any challenges or opportunities that present themselves. We even have several shippers located throughout the continent that will be working right through the holiday season, and TRAFFIX will be fully aware of their schedules and will assist where we can.
The upcoming season is an exciting one for companies worldwide as they are able to sell and distribute products across the globe. Despite the challenges that the industry has faced and the driver shortage which has been a growing concern, trucking companies that choose to provide incredible service and value this season will stand out from the rest and reap the benefits.