The number of coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country and many major cities and states begin to consider large scale lockdowns. Despite this, many goods are continuing to fill warehouses, along with shelves being restocked at many retailers in preparation for the 2020 holiday season. According to CNBC, “The National Retail Federation said it expects holiday sales during November and December to rise between 3.6% and 5.2% year over year.” Holiday sales last year reported 4% growth in 2019 from the prior year.
The expected increase in spend this year should have a direct effect on the distribution and supply chain, including trucking fleets across America. On November 19th chief economist, Bob Costello of the American Trucking Association was quoted saying “Freight is pretty good. The spot market is killing it. Contract freight is OK,” Costello continues by saying, “There’s a lot of weird seasonality. Not all freight is strong. The retail side is very strong. E-commerce is killing it.” It seems that there has been a strong pivot towards home deliveries and away from distribution to big box stores.
The change in purchasing habits and increased spending, accompanied with renewed hope of a possible Covid-19 relief package and vaccine rollout, it is understandable why National Retail Federation CEO, Matt Shay said, “The outlook for the holiday season is very bright”. Which is more great news as the trucking industry continues to outperform the overall U.S. economy in 2020.