Food Shipping Check-In: Where Freight Procurement Stands Ahead of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and that means plenty of consumers going out and buying all the staples for their meal. Turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce and more will be flying off the shelves, but supply chain issues could very well make finding everything a hassle.

As of October 31, supplies of food and household items are 4% to 11% lower than normal, which is a number similar to last March at the start of the pandemic, when it was 13%.

Of course, the freight and shipping industries have a hand in such shortages. Food, like many other products, has been impacted by the supply chain crisis, and things aren’t expected to get better by the holiday. Here’s a more detailed look into the crisis and how it will affect Thanksgiving:

More unloading issues

One of the driving factors behind the supply chain crisis, along with bare retail shelves, is the labor crisis. A lack of workers at loading and unloading points has led to delays, and thus less products in stores. With manufacturers now scrambling to meet the demands for the holiday, this could cause even more logjams than the ones that already exist.

Higher rates

The truck driver shortage has also had a large impact on the supply chain crisis, leaving shippers with fewer options when it comes to finding a carrier. The capacity crunch has led to double-digit truckload price increases for shippers looking to eagerly get holiday essentials to stores on time.

Unpredictable Capacity

Tying into the logjams that could result from the supply chain snarl-up and shrunken labor force, is that capacity is not only set to become more scarce but also more unpredictable. For example, given it is tough to foresee when and where a backup or delay may occur, there will likely be periods of time where suddenly a good chunk of capacity will open up. This means that shippers could find significant– albeit sporadic– savings if they have the right technology and tools in place and can jump on these windows. If not, they will have to continue paying through their teeth.