The holidays can create a surge in demand for trucking capacity, and now is the ideal time to prepare for potential spikes.


Estimating Demand

This year has been full of uncertainty, particularly within the supply chain. While it is difficult to determine precisely how the holiday season will shape up, the National Retail Federationforecasted earlier this year that retail sales during 2020 would increase between 3.5 percent and 4.1 percent to more than $3.9 trillion. NRF will release an updated holiday forecast this fall.

Bob Costello, chief economist for American Trucking Associations, said e-commerce continues to boom, and he expects that to continue through the holiday season. That could mean increased demand within the trucking industry.

What's more, Costello said there are already signs that capacity has tightened, especially in the spot market. This could be temporary as a restocking happens as more businesses re-open. Still, he noted that there are other ways capacity is tightening, including through fewer truck purchases, fleets reducing tractor counts and fewer drivers being trained.

Adding Capacity

There are several ways shippers can add capacity to ensure uninterrupted service if demand increases.

Dedicated contract carriage provides a safe, efficient fleet under the shipper's control without the worries of fleet ownership. As part of Penske's DCC offering, customers get visibility into shipments and deliveries and continuous improvement that's measured and tracked.

Freight brokerage is an ideal option for shippers and fleets with supplemental freight needs. Penske Logistics has more than $4.4 billion in freight under management for our customers.

Leases and rental trucks are options for fleets that want to scale up their operations. Companies can get contracts in place early, so adding equipment to meet a sudden surge is as easy as a phone call.

How Penske Can Help

Penske has several options to help you flex quickly with market transitions, including commercial rental trucks, truck leases (including some short-term options), logistics services and used trucks. Penske's team of experts can also help you if you are suddenly faced with a crisis or opportunity, and they assist in proactively planning, so you're ready before the next surge or shift hits.