From Click to Cargo: How the E-Commerce Boom is Impacting the Trucking Industry

Redefining Retail

If you can’t remember the last time you went into an actual store to buy something, you’re not alone. Online retail exploded during the pandemic as people looked for a way to receive their goods without leaving the house, and has only continued to gain popularity since then. With “20.8% of retail purchases expected to take place online in 2023” and this number projected to grow exponentially in the coming years, it’s clear that e-commerce isn’t going anywhere.

What’s more, if our shopping habits stick to this trend and continue to shift from traditional retail, demand for rapid delivery is only going to go up. With no end in sight, it’s important to understand how this growth impacts your business and how to prepare yourself to make the most of it.

Fueling Demand

The obvious result of the rise of e-commerce over the past few years is a subsequent rise in demand for fast transportation of goods. The surge in the volume of goods needing to be transported provides work for the trucking industry in more ways than one.

  • Opportunities for Specialized Trucking Services
    • Perishable items, fragile goods, and other varieties of cargo have created a need for niche trucking services and equipment. From temperature-regulated and refrigerated trucks to flatbed and tanker trailers, there is plenty of opportunity for businesses that cater to specific types of cargo to stake their claim in the sector.
  • Market Expansion
    • The ability of e-commerce businesses to reach global customer bases means that goods will inevitably need to be transported over longer distances than in the past. This creates a need for long-haul and cross-border trucking services.
  • Seasonal Peaks
    • The tendency of e-commerce businesses to participate in flash sales and offer seasonal discounts and deals means that some parts of the year will be busier than others. Sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become almost tradition for some, and contribute to the enormous spike in demand that occurs every holiday season.

Delivery Dilemmas

There’s no doubt that the surge in e-commerce has its perks. More demand means trucking companies are busier, and that’s usually a good thing. However, there’s a holdup–the industry is currently dealing with a shortage of drivers. So, while the extra workload is certainly welcomed, it also puts a significant strain on existing team members.

The pressure is on for trucking companies as consumer expectations are higher than ever before. With companies like Amazon advertising two-day, overnight, and even same-day shipping, they place the burden of figuring out the logistics of these deliveries on trucking and shipping companies. Even worse, the precedent has already been set, meaning that customers are left dissatisfied if their deliveries overshoot the two-day promise. Fulfilling these tight delivery windows isn’t easy for anyone involved. Fleet managers are left with the mess of planning these complex routes and loads, while drivers deal with the feelings of stress and fatigue that accompany long, late hours on the road.

Truck Delivery on the Way. Semi Truck on a Highway.

What’s Next?

E-commerce and the need for quick shipping aren’t going away anytime soon, so the best course of action for truckers and trucking companies is to search for opportunities to take advantage of the booming new sector. With virtually endless orders and deliveries, optimizing your trucking operation so that it can best fit the growing needs of these online shoppers is essential to future success.

Here are some ways in which TruckLogics can help you enhance the efficiency of your business operations in order to make the most of the boom in e-commerce:

  • Route Optimization – TruckLogics can help you ensure that you’re taking the most direct routes, reducing delivery times and getting your shipment to the customer as quickly as possible.
  • Streamlining Communication – TruckLogics allows for easy communication between you and your drivers, customers, vendors, and other contacts. With the unpredictable nature of e-commerce and the rapid turnaround times requested by corporate online storefronts, quick communication may be necessary to adapt your route, timing, etc. to new client expectations.
  • Digital Document Management – TruckLogics provides unlimited secure cloud storage for digital documents, allowing you or your drivers to access them at any time from anywhere. This can be especially important when dealing with e-commerce, as documentation, receipts, or proof of purchase are often required for order fulfillment. Having these documents handy will save you a headache later.

With the market on track to continue its path of exponential growth in the years to come, investing the time and resources to make your business more efficient now will only pay off in the future.

For more information on how TruckLogics can take care of all of your fleet management needs and help you optimize your daily operations, check us out here!

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