Freight volumes have remained steady into early September, but are showing little sign of an emerging peak shipping season because of economic weakness and changing strategies by carriers and shippers, according to industry officials.
“Generally speaking, the whole idea of a peak season is a misnomer,” Jessica Dankert, director of supply chain for the Retail Industry Leaders Association trade group, told Transport Topics on Sept. 4. “There have been three main factors [to flatten peak demand]: a tepid economy, changes in inventory practices and retail demand,” which has been relatively stable.
Dankert estimated that fall shipping volumes won’t be more than three percentage points higher than the rest of the year.
“One of the factors is the change in how [retailers] are managing inventory. They are either spreading [shipments] out or importing earlier,” she said.
Ted Prince, principal consultant at T. Prince and Associates and a former…
By Rip Watson, Senior Reporter
This story appears in the Sept. 9 print edition of Transport Topics.