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The State of the Shipping Industry

Our industry, like a large majority of the economy, relies on the trucking industry to transport goods across the country from port to warehouse to our fantastic customers.

Up until recently, our company enjoyed the luxury of fairly reliable shipping timeframes. We could call in orders for same day pick up or, if we had passed the time cut off for the day, arrange for a pick up the next day. If we were shipping from Toronto to Montreal or St. Catharine’s, we knew how long it would take for shipments to get to their destinations.

Things have changed. The economy is booming. As you’d expect, with a booming economy , the shipping industry as a whole is booming. Unfortunately, the shipping industry is unable to keep up with the increased demand. They are experiencing a shortage of drivers – which is becoming costly for the trucking industry, consumer goods industry and the Canadian economy as a whole.

An article I found back in April of 2013 was already talking about a shortage. This article references Understanding the Truck Driver Supply and Demand Gap and Implications for the Canadian Economy; a report funded by the Canadian Trucking Alliance. This report “estimates that the gap between the supply of drivers and the demand for them could soar as high as 33,000 by 2020.”

This report also states that the younger generations, ages 15-24, have had less interest in driving trucks within the past decade – so there have been less entrants able to fill the shoes of retiring drivers.

What we’ve been seeing over the past 6 months is less reliability in our trucking carriers. In the past we were confident that if we called a shipping company before cut-off they would pick up our orders that afternoon. Now, we are experiencing situations where a carrier is so busy that they can’t pick up until the next day. Or they arrive at our warehouse with a truck that doesn’t have enough space to pick up all of our orders.

Carrier pick-ups are not the only issue. We are also having difficulties on the delivery side of things. We’ve had instances where we’ve shipped skids to customers and then find out that they’ve been sitting in the depot warehouse for a week or TWO. With one of our shipping partners, things were being slowed down even further because their drivers were able to pick and choose which skids they take.

We wrote this post as a way to bring more transparency into the back-end of our business. Our goal is to make purchasing from us as painless as possible. Unfortunately, until the shipping industry is able to resolve their capacity shortage, shipping will be an issue that will need to be closely monitored. To that end, we are calling for pick-ups as early as possible in the day to increase the chances of a pick-up that day. What can you do? Order your product as soon as you know you need it and order early if finances allow it. This way you can hopefully build in enough lead time to ensure your product is delivered before you need it.

If you have any questions regarding shipping of our products please don’t hesitate to reach out: