Peak Holiday Season — How it Can Affect Freight

The freight industry sees a monumental rise in its business from October through December. One fundamental reason for the shipping spike during these months is the holidays.

According to US Cargo Link, “Trucks travel an average of 500 million miles during the holidays — to put it in perspective, the distance between the Earth and Jupiter is 483 million miles!”

During these months, shippers scramble to get their products on the shelves or to customers’ doorsteps before significant holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. With longer weekends approaching, the pressure is on for the freight industry to meet deadlines and deliver promptly, despite certain circumstances set against them.

“Peak holiday shipping is projected to be even more elevated in the latter portion of 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic has affected consumers’ purchasing habits. This combined with the already limited trucking capacity has put heavy pressure on the freight industry this holiday season.” — Chris Olsen, Vice President of Truckload

Below is a list of the upcoming holidays for the United States that impact the freight industry:

Thanksgiving — Thursday, Nov. 26 

Black Friday — Friday, Nov. 27 

Hanukkah — Tuesday, Dec. 22 – Friday, Dec. 30 

Christmas Eve — Thursday, Dec. 24 

Christmas Day — Friday, Dec. 25 

Kwanzaa — Saturday, Dec. 26 – Friday, Jan. 1  

New Year’s Eve — Thursday, Dec. 31 

New Year’s Day 2021 — Friday, Jan. 1, 2021

Outside of these dates, let’s dive into three factors to consider when shipping during a peak freight season.


Whether we like it or not, the weather is an uncontrollable factor of every shipment. Snow, rain, heat, or hail, drivers brave it all to deliver their loads. However, when delivering during a peak, shipments may be stalled due to special circumstances like weather. This is a factor that should be considered before, during, and after a shipment.

Customer Service

We all know that communication is key, but do we practice what we preach? Communicating with your lead customer service reps during a delay or stall could be a serious step in meeting your deadlines or obtaining an extension. Outside of the drivers, logistics and shipping companies must put customer service as their top priority during peak seasons as drivers and customers rely on communication to guide them throughout the shipping process. Stellar customer service is a key factor to a successful shipment.


Keeping weather and customer service in mind, a relationship with your insurance provider or supplier can make or break a vital shipment.

According to the International Business Times, “If a shipment is damaged in transit, basic carrier liability typically does not cover the full value of the shipment. With shipment insurance, you are more likely to recover your loss and the process for filing a claim is often easier.”

In other words, maintaining a stable relationship with your contacts, especially in insurance, will benefit you in the long run.

Though weather, customer service, and a relationship with your insurance provider can affect freight, especially during the peak holiday season, at Priority1, we prioritize your shipping experience year-round. Check out our previous blog posts to see our solutions to the top three challenges in shipping outside of the holiday season.

As always, drive safe!

By: Caela Fugate