• LTL & Parcel Insight: Around the Holiday season, LTL & Parcel shipping speeds typically decrease by approximately 20% due to the increase in retail shipments. Speeds rebound after the turn of the new year, so shippers who book appointments or send products 30% earlier than planned during this holiday season can help mitigate inventory disruption and deliver goods on time and revert back to normal patterns during mid-January. North American shipments experience similar slowdowns in these modes.
  • Full Truckload: Full truckload loads experience the opposite operationally. Going into December, TL shipping speeds typically increase by 9%, we believe due to expedited freight, avoiding the Groupage & Parcel congestion. Speeds here also return to normal in January and February.
  • FourKites has started to see similar slowdowns in its network as the holiday season picks up. We expect this trend to continue, if not get worse, given the disruption and delays across modes globally.
  • At the same time, we anticipate shipping volumes will increase significantly through at least mid-December, as smaller shippers and last-minute product buys are pushed through from overseas. This month, many of the knowns and unknowns of holiday imports will enter the constrained West Coast ports. In the event that volume doesn’t meet the distribution center receive-date requirements to hit shelves on time, or to fulfill e-commerce orders, any excess stock will lead to post-holiday sales that will be larger than any year we have seen in the past.
  • Since January 2021, FourKites has seen 56% growth in retail load volume on its platform. And the modal distribution is changing with 3X growth in LTL volume, and 2X growth in full truckload volume.

This analysis was based on 15 million FourKites LTL, parcel and full truckload loads in North America and Europe between June 2019 and September 2021.

Glenn Koepke, SVP of Customer Experience at FourKites