December 17, 2020

Freight volumes unlikely to slow after record Christmas season

This year’s Christmas has delivered record freight volumes, with Australia Post expecting it to be a $4 billion e-commerce event. High volumes in December tend to give way to slower starts in the New Year for freight movements. This is, however, looking increasingly unlikely for 2021.

Freight volumes unlikely to slow after Christmas season | Ofload

This year’s Christmas season has been unlike any other, especially for freight. Although border and social distancing restrictions have been easing, the impact of lockdowns is still being felt across the logistics industry.

Online shopping has hit a record high with five and half million Australian households ordering online in November. This represents a growth of 55% nationally compared with the same time period in 2019.

Australia’s increased reliance on online shopping this year has resulted in the busiest year ever for Australia Post, with a record-breaking 3 million parcels delivered after last month’s Black Friday sales.

The Christmas season is anticipated to surpass these volumes, with Australia Post expecting a $4 billion e-commerce event.

The effect of COVID-19 lockdowns on Australians’ purchasing habits has caused consumers to be increasingly comfortable with online shopping. These restrictions have also seen Australians alter their spending habits — taking what would have otherwise been spent on holidays or travel and using it for goods.

The high volume of online shopping has had an inevitable impact on imports and freight movements as well. Supply chain delays are still being felt from industrial action at the Sydney port a few months ago, with shipping schedules working on a backlog of eight to ten weeks.

While a fast-paced end to the year tends to give way to a slower January, this is seeming unlikely. With both online shopping’s growth rising to previously unseen levels even after the Christmas period, and the knock-on effects from supply chain delays, trucks are likely to be busy long into 2021.

Ofload is a digital freight platform that aims to empower the long tail of small carriers to access large shipper contracts through technology. Our focus is eliminating waste across all aspects of the freight industry through prioritising transparency and efficiency.

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