“Shipageddon” Predicted for Holidays Because of Lack of Truck Capacity – But Why?

1 million trucks drive empty every day, totaling 20 billion miles annually

In a year filled with chaos and confusion, it should surprise absolutely nobody that the upcoming holiday season is shaping up to be a shipping nightmare.

In fact, things are expected to be so bad, the term “Shipageddon” is now being tossed about. UPS and FedEx just informed their largest shipping customers that most of their truck capacity has already been booked. Some analysts are predicting up to 7 million packages per day between Thanksgiving and Christmas could face delays.

“This will be an unprecedented peak season, and there will be days within the holiday season where the entire industry is constrained,” Brie Carere, Executive Vice President at FedEx, told NBC News. “We are working with all of our customers to really smooth their demand.”

This all begs the question: huh?

Certainly there are myriad reasons for capacity crunches, especially during the holidays, and especially during pandemic-related supply chain disruptions.

But the fact remains that every day in the U.S., roughly 1 million trucks roll down the highways COMPLETELY EMPTY. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), this adds up to an estimated 20 BILLION empty truck miles every year. Other estimates put that number closer to 50 billion empty miles.

The U.S. has over 1 million trucking companies and nearly 4 million drivers. So what gives?

A Lack of Visibility

Finding available capacity, even during the holidays – even during these holidays – should not be this difficult.

The biggest obstacle, one that has crippled the industry for decades, is simply a lack of visibility into the “true market” of small and independent carrier companies. This market is massive. Consider that 97% of U.S. trucking companies own just a handful of trucks, and in many cases just a single truck.

Most Shippers decided long ago that finding small “mom and pop” Carriers to work with and manage was more trouble than it was worth. A big reason is these smaller operations lack the technology to give Shippers the transparency and confidence they need to entrust them with their cargo. Freight brokers, third party logistics companies (3PLs), and mega-carriers have stepped in to fill the void. The result? Lower pay for truckers, billions of wasted highway miles, and massive supply chain inefficiencies that spawn unnecessary “Shipageddons.”

A Direct Network is the Answer

The LaneAxis Direct Network portal, which is integrated with the LaneAxis FreightVISION mobile app for Drivers, levels the playing field for small independent Carriers. Now armed with top-tier technology, these companies can connect directly with Shippers of all sizes. Truckers looking for broker-free loads can broadcast their availability and location in real-time, allowing Shippers to quickly find capacity when and where they need it. Shipment contracts, insurance documents, and Carrier payments are monitored and managed by the LaneAxis system. FreightVISION tracks the entire load in real-time, as well as providing e-docs, geoefence entry and exit notifications, immediate proof-of-delivery, and a complete load history. In other words, LaneAxis has removed just about every barrier preventing Shippers and small Carriers from doing business together.

While LaneAxis is focused primarily on the truckload sector, the platform can also be utilized and/or customized to handle less-than-truckload (LTL) freight as well as last-mile deliveries.

As the Direct Network continues to grow, real or imagined supply chain crises such as “Shipaggedon” should become a thing of the past.

Visit LaneAxis.com to learn more.