Holiday Trucking and the Holidays
It has been said that the trucking industry is the life blood of the U.S. economy, moving more goods and services across the north American continent than one can even imagine. There are times throughout the year when demand for transport via trucking dramatically spikes due to consumer habits – Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving sales – but nothing compares to holiday trucking during the Christmas season. It’s a whir of pickups, drop-offs, and long-hauls with everything from loads of Christmas trees, to a sea of Amazon Prime orders, the constant re-stocking of department and retail stores, and the mad flurry of parcel delivery services such as UPS, FedEx and the United States Parcel Service. With all of that hustle and bustle, the only economic player logging more miles than Santa is the holiday trucking industry.
Holiday Shopping Fuels the US Economy
According to the National Retail Federation – the world’s largest retail trade association that is responsible for tracking consumer spending among various types of stores – consumer spending makes up about 70% of our country’s annual GDP, with much of that spending occurring during the holiday months of November and December. Never underestimate the economic impact of holiday gift purchases, which account for roughly 1/5 of all retail sales made annually. With an ever-burgeoning online marketplaces and e-commerce sites boasting everything under the sun available at the click of a mouse and with no shipping costs, there is a massive super-highway of merchandise being transported across the country, 24/7, 365 days a year. According to a recent CSNBC article, online shopping this holiday season is expected to grow 14.8% as opposed to 2.7% for brick and mortar retail locations. Online spending in total is estimated to reach an astronomical and unprecedented $124.1 billion. So while you and your family are nestled all snug in your beds with visions of sugar-plums dancing in your heads, truck drivers are on the clock, moving your stocking stuffers from the Port of Los Angeles to a processing warehouse, and then on to your front door step just in time for Christmas morning.
The Unsung Heroes of the Holidays
Despite receiving holiday pay, truckers sacrifice a lot to work while everyone else is enjoying time with family and friends. The road can be a rough and solitary world even during non-holiday times, but on important days such as Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, many drivers are away from their kids, their spouses, their families, friends, and homes. Mobile apps such as Skype, FaceTime and Facebook video chat allow truckers and their families to stay in touch, while good samaritans who recognize the contribution of truckers during the holidays will sometimes set up little gift baskets, free meals, or free coffee at truck stops to show their appreciation and to bring a sense of cheer to the men and women on the road.
The Bottom Line
With all of the difficult aspects of the trucking lifestyle – long hours, solitude, truck stop showering and dining, time away from loved ones and having to spend holidays on the open road away from family and their homes – our truckers deserve a huge thank you. The men and women of the trucking industry make sacrifices daily and annually to keep our economy and our lives moving. They keep our grocery stores stocked, clothes on our back, gasoline in our cars, and gifts under our trees. This holiday season they deserve a warm thank you.
Happy Holidays From SCL
As a logistics and solutions provider for the trucking industry, we want to wish you and your fleet a happy and safe holiday. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for the hours that you put in as drivers and fleet managers to keeping our country and our economy moving throughout the year and during the holiday season. Thank you for the long hours and for the endless miles logged during this time of year, and for trusting SCL to support you in keeping your trucks and fleet operating at optimal levels. Merry Christmas from all of us at SCL, and here’s to a great new year!
For information on how we can assist your fleet in choosing the optimal products at a competitive price, contact an SCL consultant today.