It may be just the beginning of the school year, but retailers across the country have already made plans for the holiday season that is still months away. In fact, scheduling for specialty freight services, truckload carriers, and expedited international shipping services requires months, sometimes years, of planning.
In a time when consumers are more demanding than ever before, it might not surprise you do know that there is actually a lot of work that goes into the ordering and transportation of many of the most needed goods. And while many consumers feel like they are the ones driving the popularity of items, the reality is that there are marketing teams and prediction groups who are responsible for the items that actually show up on the shelves of the stores that we visit the most often. Online orders, too, are driven by not only popularity, but also availability. Availability that is determined by the logistics industry and details that are handled by specialty freight services and other transportation offerings.
Consider these facts and figures about the transportation industry and the effect that it has on the economy:
- Public truckload carriers report that the average length of haul decreased 4% between the year 2011 and 2016, according to Satish Jindel, president of SJ Consulting Group.
- Approximately 5.9 million commercial motor vehicle drivers operate in the U.S., according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
- Machinery, electronics, and motorized vehicles are the three most valuable commodities moved by the U.S. freight transportation system.
- Representing 8% of annual gross domestic product, spending in the U.S. logistics and transportation industry totaled $1.48 trillion in the year 2015.
- Approximately 12 million trucks, rail cars, locomotives, and vessels move goods across the transportation network.
- Trucking transported nearly 15 billion tons of cargo in the year 2013. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, however, that by the year 2040, this number is expected to increase to 18.79 billion tons.
Expedited freight companies determine the availability of the items that consumers most want. In fact, the availability of items can determine the success or failure of companies, both large and small.