According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales represent roughly 20% of annual retail activity. For some types of retailers, like those that sell toys, games and hobby-related items, the number can be even higher—closer to 30%.
What this means for retailers and others in the supply chain is that their level of activity and their need for local cartage (defined as transportation of cargo within a local area as opposed to long haul trucking) skyrockets as the end of the year approaches. And that includes small “mom and pop” stores, retail giants like Amazon, Walmart, Kroger, and Costco, and everything in between.
How these businesses prepare for and handle the holiday surge can be a major factor in their success at this crucial time of year. While some may work with a cartage company, many prefer to handle their own transportation. But if you don’t have the cartage trucking and storage resources you require come “crunch time,” you risk logistical challenges and delays that can irritate customers, create negative publicity, and hurt sales.
What’s the answer? For many companies, the solution is to rent semi trailers from a company like Boxwheel Trailer Leasing to meet holiday season local cartage and storage needs.
Why Companies Augment Holiday Capacity with Semi Trailers for Local Cartage and Storage
Many companies own all the OTR (over the road) semi trailers they need to move goods long distances, both around the holidays and throughout the year. However, when sales surge in the fall and winter months, keeping up with supply chain increases and local cartage or warehouse storage requirements can be a challenge. That’s when having a relationship with a semi trailer rental and leasing company can be a lifesaver.
Both large and small businesses, and other entities like charitable organizations, benefit from having a semi trailer provider that can get them the equipment they need to transport or store goods locally. Cartage trailers are typically used for shorter and more-frequent trips and provide a significant amount of additional carrying capacity. Having enough cartage trailers can greatly reduce logistical issues.
Another area where companies rely on rental trailers is for overflow storage. As large quantities of goods arrive at a distribution point, for example, the facility may not have enough space to store the items until they are brought into a manufacturing/assembly process or delivered to customers.
Rented trailers can be parked on site in order to serve as additional secure “warehouse” space. This approach gives organizations the ability to scale their operations up quickly as the holidays approach and then dial them back down just as quickly when the peak season has passed.
In some cases, retailers will retain their rented semi trailers into the following year to assist with reverse logistics. This allows them to receive and store returned products until they can be repaired or replaced. Here again, lack of capacity can slow the return process and adversely affect customer satisfaction.
Rented Semi Trailers and Other Peak Seasons
The holidays put the greatest strain on local cartage and storage capabilities. However, there are other “peak seasons” where semi trailer rentals can play a key role. For example, rented trailers are often crucial to companies hosting, supporting or attending conventions. While these events may take place throughout the year, many of them are scheduled for the summer months when there are fewer weather concerns.
Like retail, the convention industry uses semi trailers both for cartage trucking and storage. The trailers enable them to transport goods to and from event locations. They also allow a convention host site to store the inbound materials (signage, booths, etc.) from exhibitors until it’s time to set up for the event. The additional storage may also be used after the event for companies that want to leave their items there until the host site for their next event is ready to receive them.
Holiday Rush: Preparing for Your Local Cartage and Storage Needs is Key
The key to meeting increased transportation and storage needs around the holidays—or any peak season for your business—is to be prepared. Scrambling to find the semi trailers you need at the last minute is not only a headache, it can cause serious problems if you can’t locate the right trailers or trailers that are within your budget.
Forward-thinking companies do their research well before the holiday rush hits and find a semi trailer rental provider that has the equipment and services they’ll need later. They also look for a trailer provider like Boxwheel Trailer Leasing that has a streamlined rental process that enables them to get the trailers they require quickly and with less red tape. This makes it easy to check the box on one To Do item during what can be a very busy time when it can be hard to find a cartage company to assist with local deliveries.
Summer is a great time to start planning and preparing for the holiday surge. If you have questions about our large inventory of dry van, liftgate, refrigerated and flatbed semi trailers for rent or lease, please contact Boxwheel Trailer Leasing at your convenience.