With Thanksgiving behind us, December is a hectic month. The closer we get to the holidays, the more frantic it is: buying presents, baking, cooking, events with friends and family and more shopping. All of the items we need for these activities are available - usually the only thing missing is time!
This holiday, not only should we leave out cookies for Santa, but also say a thank you to truck drivers. They lend a big hand (and rig) to ensuring all the food, gifts, supplies, parcels arrive at their destinations on time. It’s actually a lot of work!
How much work?
Retail sales in the US will total more than $630 billion this year - higher than the GDP of 181 countries! The average person will spend an average of $882 for gifts this holiday season. This includes both in-store and online purchases. All in-store merchandise has to be delivered to the store ahead of time to meet the holiday rush and demand.
Consumers spent over $3 billion on Cyber Monday, which means a lot of shipments and deliveries in December. UPS alone expects to deliver 630 million packages within December! On December 20, it is estimated that over 30 million packages will be delivered. UPS has had such high demand, they are now using U-Haul trucks for deliveries as they don’t have enough trucks in their fleet (and scaring some people).
It’s not only a lot of parcels being delivered, but Christmas is the most popular season for cards. Nearly 1.6 billion holiday cards are purchased and delivered. Now that’s a lot of mail!
Holiday Items & Food
Within the US, about 25-30 million live Christmas trees are sold each year - that’s over $1 billion! Although each state grows trees in various quantities, the top producers are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. It takes a lot of time, effort and fuel to get those trees all over the country.
One of the drivers is our very own blog author and independent owner/operator, Ingrid Brown! She hauls trees from North Carolina to the North East each year.
Whether having a meal with family or with coworkers at the annual holiday party, lots of food is consumed during this time of year. It’s estimated that one holiday meal can come in at 3,000 calories!
According to the USDA, over 244 million turkeys are raised in the US, with 22 million of those birds getting eaten up over the holidays. It’s also estimated that at the 46 million holiday parties across the US, 7.3 billion shrimp are consumed.
Let’s not forget some of the classic holiday treats that we all love to snack on! Each year about 1.76 billion candy canes and 150 million chocolate Santas are made. Although it’s hard to tell how many fruitcakes are actually made each year versus just being regifted, about 38% of people give their fruitcakes away.
It takes a lot of planning and fuel to get all of these items to their final destination. Not only do truck drivers haul all the food, gifts and mail around, they haul the gas that we all need to get these items and visit family. The average person will travel 275 miles for the holidays.
This holiday season, let’s show some appreciation to the truck drivers out there, who are working hard at all hours of the day, away from their families, to provide for us and ensure we have a nice holiday.
Think of that next time you’re on the road and see one passing by and maybe they’re hauling something you’ll end up with!