As the month draws to an end and Black Friday approaches, customers are getting their bank cards ready to snatch up some deals. The freight industry has to prepare for the money-making madness for not only customers, but for retailers.
Black Friday is always the day following Thanksgiving in the United States of America (USA), however it has also been adopted by the United Kingdom (UK) from a retail perspective. In fact, this golden opportunity for retailers is seen as the biggest event for Christmas shopping leading up to Christmas day. Prices are (supposedly) lowered, and particularly over the last several years, retailers spotted a perfect opportunity to extend the deal-driven sales online – known as Cyber Monday. Attempts to extend this further, “Black Thursday” was attempted, however was seen as a failure due to the sales figures dropping by 11%, potentially due to the fact that it fell into Thanksgiving day.
Although land and sea forms of freight are used to transport retail goods, air cargo is famously known as being the most time-efficient form of freight distribution. It has been reported that in 2017’s preparation of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, air freight loads doubled, which contributed to the soar in retail consumerism leading up to the Christmas season.
Research further suggests that British customers spent £1.15bn online on Black Friday in 2017, which is 15% more than in 2016. In preparation for Black Friday and the Christmas period in 2017, it was recorded that 49,000 staff were hired, as well as an additional 52% of lorries and vans for couriers such as Royal Mail and Amazon just for Black Friday deliveries.
Looking at the recent years’ trends and considering the rise in demands of online and retail consumerism, it is possible that this number will rise once again. Black Friday’s countdown has begun, and courier services and freight forwarders are already in preparation for the big event.
Rachel Jefferies, Editor, Freight Media