FourKites, a business that offers real-time visibility into the supply chain, is reporting a surge in activity as trucks scramble to keep shelves stocked this holiday season.
Shipping volumes in the retail sector are up 89% since the beginning of December, and the Consumer Packaged Goods sector has seen a 21% rise in tracked shipping volumes, it says.
Food and beverage volumes are up 6%.
Food and beverage and CPG volumes tend to peak through Christmas week before falling off in early January.
“What we’re seeing is that even as shoppers are homebound more than any other holiday season, they’re also shopping more than ever before – with the vast majority of that taking place online,” senior vice-president – customer success Glenn Koepke writes in a related blog.
“The massive uptick in e-commerce is, in turn, necessitating a change in the ways that manufacturers, distributors and retailers transport their wares to the end consumer, forcing them to rely more heavily on less-than-truckload and parcel shipments.”
That demand is taking place in the midst of stretched shipping capacity and rising rates, he adds.
But some of the freight is also moving with fewer delays.
“Despite these increases, FourKites has seen a decline in dwell time of 43% both in the U.S. and around the world, indicating better planning and optimization,” FourKites notes.