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We are in the last weeks of the freight industry’s holiday rush: those weeks each November and December where products are moving across the country to beat gift-giving deadlines. Retailers and “e-tailers” (online stores) are working hard to both get inventory on their shelves and then out the door as fast as they can. This month’s gift-giving holidays — with Hanukkah starting on Saturday, the 24th, Christmas on Sunday, the 25th, and Kwanza on Monday, the 26th – will keep motor carriers and freight brokers very busy in the next two weeks.

From big box stores and large department store chains to small “Mom and Pop” shops, the main concern is having the right products on hand for their customers. The freight industry shares these goals and works hard at this time of year to keep ahead of increased order volume and customer demand. No question: truckers work through a variety of logistical challenges and inevitable weather challenges to avoid disappointing their customers – and those customers’ customers!

A recent survey by TomTom Telematics reveals that 22% of online shoppers have experienced late Christmas gift deliveries. In fact, online shoppers’ biggest concern is the fear that the presents they ordered won’t arrive in time. “Late arrivals” is the big worry for 40% of those surveyed. The good news is that, internationally, about one in three online shoppers plan to place their orders five or more weeks before December 25. The bad news is that 12% will wait until one or two weeks before the holiday.

This is the time of year when outstanding customer service can differentiate fleets and from their competitors. Keeping the lines of communication open with relevant parties – brokers, shippers, dispatchers, and others involved with a shipment – helps manage expectations. Trucking professionals will need to take into account holiday traffic congestion at different times of the day and strategize best available routes, based on both past experience and current traffic conditions.

This is a time to use all your strategic resources to find loads for your truck or find trucks for your loads. Log on now to a completely free resource: FreeFreightSearch.com, the world’s largest free load board. Happy Holidays!

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