Black Friday and The Holiday Season Approach: What Does That Mean For Your Supply Chain?


Post-2020, holiday deals are starting earlier and staying around longer. And although day-of Black Friday deals seem to be turning into a thing of the past, the increased threat of delays and theft remains. It’s critical that shippers understand what to expect and how to prepare this holiday season.

Theft targeted products
Overhaul’s intelligence team notes that cargo thieve target shipments of televisions, major appliances, mixed electronics, and alcoholic beverages the most this time of year. They also expect a spike in meat and seafood thefts due to the rising cost of food. In addition to the products that are traditionally targeted at the holidays, anticipate an increase in risk for any products that are experiencing a shortage or have retail purchasing limits or restrictions. Now is the time for shippers and service providers to diligently prepare for the upcoming holiday stretch.

Excess inventory reduction strategies
Retailers are currently dealing with a surplus of inventory: orders that arrived after long delays during the pandemic. While they look to move the excess in high volume, consumers tackle their holiday shopping with hard-to-pass-up deals. Unfortunately for logistics and security teams, cargo thieves are strategically preparing and patiently awaiting opportunities to strike their unattended trailers and shipments left over the holiday weekends.

Increased crime with inflation
High inflation leads to higher crime and the holiday weekends continue to be notorious for spikes in cargo criminal activity. The holiday season also means extended time off for employees and fewer security staff. This leaves warehouses and distribution centers vulnerable to criminal activity and can prolong the lead time before discovering a facility break-in. CargoNet analyzed theft records in the US over 5 years from Tuesday to Monday after Thanksgiving. They reported an average of 27 thefts per year in those two-week spans with the average shipment value exceeding $125,000.

Overhaul Recommendations for Logistics and Security Teams:
Here are a few best practice tips recommended by Overhaul on how you can ramp up your security measures during the holidays:

  1. Avoid unnecessary staging
    • Get advanced confirmation of the consignee’s hours of operation to adjust appointment times as needed.
    • Staging and storing inventory in a warehouse is the most high-risk place for cargo theft.
    • Big box retailer distribution centers are specifically targeted by organized cargo theft crews when they know volume is high and security may be stretched thin.
  2. Secure the premises
    • Over-the-road shipments should stop in well-lit, secured areas with trailer doors backed up to a solid surface, if possible.
    • Drivers should maintain vigilance and avoid leaving their vehicles unattended for any amount of time.
    • Warehouses and distribution centers should ensure all security systems work and are properly functioning.
  3. Technology
    • Use a supply chain visibility and risk management platform to monitor and track the safety and performance of your shipments.
    • If you have an existing visibility solution, find out if it can capture critical details such as driver details, photos of the vehicle, and alerts that can tell you ahead of time if something happens along the way that wasn’t according to plan.
  4. Plan for the worst
    • Have an escalation plan to effectively engage law enforcement when products or cargo is stolen.
    • Take advantage of security tracking services that can aid in the recovery of stolen cargo.
    • 80% of cargo is uninsured. With all the chaos and room for things to go wrong, the holidays are an especially important time to have cargo insurance.

Investing in solutions like Overhaul can go a long way by offering you a 99.9% cargo protection rate. Give yourself the gift of peace of mind this holiday season by knowing Overhaul has you covered if the worst comes to pass.

If you’d like to learn more about how Overhaul can help your business to protect your cargo in transit, increase productivity, and reduce costs, speak with one of our knowledgeable Account Executives at