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Divided we ship – Freightonomics (with video)

Zach Strickland and Anthony Smith give a post-election market update ahead of peak retail shipping season.

Sponsored by Amazon Freight.

The stock market soared this week, after the 2020 presidential election election was called for Joe Biden and pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced its COVID-19 vaccine progress. This uptick is comforting for consumers as they move into the holiday shopping season. 

While peak retail shipping doesn’t hit for another few weeks, many stores have already slashed prices and are moving lots of goods through their shipping channels. 

Strickland and Smith expect this trend to continue, especially as stores cap or decrease their in-person shopping capacity.

Zach Strickland & Anthony Smith provide a post-election market update

The end of the election didn’t mean the end of tumultuous times, especially in the freight industry, as several groups of drivers planned a strike to protest the election result. 

The impact of the protest is still up for debate, but Smith said, “Who could stop the flow of the country? The truck drivers could.”

COVID-19 and its continued impacts were also a hot topic following the election results, as future shutdowns and mitigation methods continue to be politicized. 

Strickland and Smith agree the solutions to combating COVID are not black and white; there is a range of corrective action to take. 

They point to the differences in responses by countries with top economies, specifically South Korea. The main differences in handling the virus come from subtle differences in cultural norms and ideas, like individualism versus collectivism. 

Zac Rogers, associate professor of supply chain management at Colorado State, also weighed in on the election and COVID impacts of peak season shipping. 

Rogers made it clear: The growth in e-commerce since the start of the pandemic has been unprecedented. 

E-commerce capacity was forecast to grow 15% this year but actually grew 50%, said Rogers, and while he thinks this trend will slow down, the boost in sales is here to stay. 

Buying habits formed by people during shutdowns and quarantine will support that continued growth even if other pieces of the economy start to drop off, said Rogers, adding “the pandemic is actually fueling growth in the logistics industry in a weird way that is inverted from the rest of the economy.”

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Kaylee Nix

Kaylee Nix is a meteorologist and reporter for FreightWaves. She joined the company in November of 2020 after spending two years as a broadcast meteorologist for a local television channel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Kaylee graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2018 and immediately made the Tennessee Valley her home. Kaylee creates written summaries of FreightWaves live podcasts and cultivates the social media for FreightWaves TV.