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Holiday Shipping Delays: Why Your Freight Shipment Slows Down

holiday shipping delays
cc image courtesy Jordiet via Flickr


Watch our video on Avoiding Holiday Shipping Delays!

The fourth of July has come and gone, and hopefully you avoided any firework incidents. Yesterday, the Women's World Cup captured the country's attention, as well as some pretty great hardware. Today it's back to work, back on the grind; same old tune.

Even the best of us can take an hour or two to get back in the swing of things after a long holiday weekend, and freight is the same way. That's why you're likely to see some holiday shipping delays with your LTL.

Holiday delays are to be expected any time the mad rush of the populace decides to rev the engines, hop on the interstates, and get out of town. Airports during Christmas. Memorial day traffic. The list goes on...

This year was especially ill-timed when it comes to holiday shipping delays. Because the 4th of July fell on a Saturday, many freight companies took Friday, July 3rd off. This planned shutdown put a stress on the capacity of the few carriers that were working on Friday, in both LTL and full truckload shipping. The stress in capacity results in missed pickups, or pickups pushed back to Monday.

Think of freight shipping as a traffic jam. Every time you tap the brakes, things slow down a bit behind you. A freight shipment not picked up on Friday becomes a shipment picked up on Monday, but that pushes a Monday pickup back to Tuesday, and so on and so forth, all down the line. Call it the domino effect.

The good news is that brokers and carriers alike see this coming, and plan for holiday shipping delays accordingly. That sometimes means shipping freight on Wednesdays instead of the end of the week. Or perhaps, pushing that same freight shipment until mid-next week, assuming of course that it's not time-sensitive. Expedited shipping is not really any option here.

It should take no more than a few days for things to straighten themselves out in terms of shipping, so be patient if your freight is delayed a day or two. By Wednesday or Thursday of this week, most delays should have worked themselves out. Get with your broker if you have questions about transit times, estimated vs guaranteed, and all sorts of other options for time-sensitive freight.

As always, planning results in freight that avoids holiday shipping delays, and gets freight where it needs to be on time.

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