Just as they are with so many other things, truck drivers are vital to Halloween.
Do you know how much candy U.S. consumers buy and consume each year? What about how it’s shipped?
Almost 90 million pounds of candy are sold each year before Halloween! And all told, a year’s worth of Halloween candy takes up a pretty large amount of space: 9 billion pieces — enough to circle the moon 21 times!
What’s up with candy purchases and the candy supply chain this year
A recent online consumer survey from the National Confectioners Association (NCA) shows that more than 80% of people plan to celebrate Halloween this year, and 87% plan to purchase the same amount of or more Halloween candy this year (up from 80% last year).
All sweetness aside, as you might expect, the candy industry is among those experiencing some supply chain disruptions this year. Here’s how retailers and shoppers are responding:
- Retailers are increasing candy display spending and stocking shelves with Halloween items in advance of the season.
- While shortages may not be likely, consumer fears may prompt some to purchase their stashes early instead of waiting until the last minute.
- Retailers continue to experience out of stocks, with a recent survey finding that 74.7% of consumers reported still seeing shortages in stores.
- Hershey reports that early-season shoppers spend almost twice as much throughout the Halloween season on candy vs. their late-season shopping counterparts.
- Many retailers have moved up their standard fourth-quarter timing to bring the product in, pulling it forward to July through September, creating excess inventory and a lack of warehouse space.
So how are truck drivers vital to Halloween?
In the 1980s, candy shipments were generally small and were from hundreds of manufacturers. Candy moved by the truckload to regional hubs managed by pool distributors. Nowadays, truck drivers deliver candy for big retail chains, many of which handle their logistics directly with the big suppliers or through 3PLs.Shipments are now also delivered to stores dedicated entirely to Halloween, including those selling enormous bags of candy.
But delivering candy is a niche, so it’s essential to find reliable truck drivers with that specific expertise.
- Most candy moves on trucks at 50-65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Humidity is also essential (chocolate is susceptible to temperature and humidity).
- Storing or transporting some candies under the wrong conditions or fluctuating temperatures can change their texture and consistency. Chocolate may “bloom” with a whitish surface film or become soft or even powdery.
- Short hauls can often go on vans in spring and fall. And when temps are above 15 degrees Fahrenheit, candy can often be moved on an insulated van or a dry van with blankets.
Suppose you’re a carrier responsible for getting candy into Americans’ bowls, baskets, and plastic pumpkins. Your truck drivers are vital to Halloween. In that case, this is an excellent time to explore the best tools for ensuring a Happy Halloween in 2021.
A transportation management system can help carriers make their Halloween transport plans well in advance, ensuring treats arrive in time for trick or treaters. Axele creates hour-by-hour trip plans for drivers, taking into account their hours-of-service, hotel stays, fuel, and meal breaks. Axele tracks and monitors driver schedules from pickup to delivery, creating more accurate ETA for customer orders. And here’s a Halloween treat: You can get Axele free. Check it out today.