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Disruptions, Uneven Shipping Patterns Cause Headaches for Carriers in So-called “Peak” Season

(John Schulz – Logistics Management)

The crush of e-commerce freight is causing strains on last-mile capacity. Uneven shipping patterns are causing freight forecasts to be wrong as often as correct. Inventory-to-sales ratios are falling as manufacturers abhor keeping excess inventory for very long.

All this is causing uneven shipping patterns and volumes that vary month-to-month. The highly regarded American Trucking Associations’ truck tonnage figures have been gyrating like a yo-yo, back and forth from negative to positive with no apparent trend.

The ATA freight index rose 4.8 percent in May compared with year-ago May figures. Great, right? But that May number followed three straight monthly declines totally 2.6 percent drops. ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello, the steward of the freight index report, warned that “one month does not make a trend” but still was optimistic. Click here to read more.

Related: Package-Delivery Jobs Rise as More Consumers Shop Online (WSJ)