Holiday Season Website

Falvey Shippers Updates

Holiday Season Shipping Trends and Statistics

Posted: Nov 19, 2019 9:04:00 AM

Virtually all experts have predicted that holiday spending will grow significantly for 2019. While trade war tensions and stock market volatility may somewhat impact that growth, it’s doubtful that it will be by much. Low employment, increasing wages, and high consumer confidence have put the U.S. economy on an upswing that’s expected to translate into increased spending over the holiday months. 

Here are some important statistics to know around the two driving factors for the shipping industry this holiday season—volume and speed.


There’s more shopping happening than ever before, largely via e-commerce channels. The increase 2018 holiday spending will likely push 2019’s numbers to new heights.

  • ~16 billion pieces of mail and packages were delivered by the United States Postal Service during the 2018 holiday season. (Source)

That was a 4% increase from 2017 and similar growth is expected for 2019.

  • ~910 million packages were delivered by the Postal Service between Thanksgiving 2018 and New Year’s Day 2019 alone. (Source)

This highlights the massive demand and sky-high expectations put on shippers and warehouses over a short two-month period each year. It will also add pressure to the industry this year—with Thanksgiving falling later in the year (November 28) and hence launching Cyber Week and the official holiday shopping season, consumers have six fewer days to make purchases than in 2018. 

  • U.S. e-commerce sales are predicted to top $136 billion, which is a 13% year-over-year growth. (Source)

Salesforce also estimates that Black Friday alone will bring in over $7 billion in the U.S. and nearly $40 billion globally in online sales. 

  • Cyber Monday is expected to be the biggest online shopping day in history (again), with total sales trending toward $10 billion. (Source)
  • In general, the U.S. Department of Transportation expects the value of freight moved to increase from $882 per ton in 2007 to $1,377 per ton in 2040. (Source)

That’s a 64% projected increase over the next 20 years, the vast majority of which will be transported by trucks. 


This holiday season, free and fast shipping is on consumers’ wish lists, especially with six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

  • 51% of retailers offer same-day delivery and 65% plan to offer it within two years. (Source)

As retailers like Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target have known for a long time, free shipping has become an automatic for consumers.

  • 81% of transactions and 90% of desktop spending included free shipping during Thanksgiving week 2018.  (Source)
  • Nearly half of holiday shoppers say that lengthy shipping times/slow order fulfillment is their biggest pain point in the online holiday shopping experience. (Source)

This isn’t just the U.S.—these results include shoppers from the U.K., France, and Germany. This is a global expectation. 

Are you prepared for the surge in shipping this holiday season? Read this related article about how to manage the transportation risks in last-mile logistics.


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