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Retail sales: Where are they going?

January is traditionally a time to reflect on the previous year and forecast what is expected in the new year. When it comes to final mile logistics and supply chain, paying attention to retail sales can give us somewhat of a picture of what our own industry will look like. 

So, how did retail shape up at the end of 2020? It seems that it matters who you ask and what their measuring stick looks like. As we shared in a recent blog, the 2020 holiday sales were actually higher compared to last year. But other reports that show a wider picture that includes more shopping categories show that sales overall dropped for the third time in the last quarter. 

Looking into 2021, many experts predict that in-store retail will get a boost, and e-commerce will see a corresponding slight decline as some items that consumers started shopping for online will once again be purchased in store. We don't believe that e-commerce is going to decline enough to have a drastic effect on the final mile industry. We also see predictions that some industries such as hospitality and trade shows are expected to start recovering in 2021, which will mean more business for the logistics sector. 

Safety Bulletin: 
5 Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

(Article Courtesy Penske) 

Your phone dings. It may be a social media message. An email. A text. But if you’re behind the wheel, that ding could turn deadly.

Distracted driving doesn’t just include texting or reading something on your phone. It includes anything that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off of driving. In 2018, crashes involving distracted driving caused nearly 2,900 U.S. deaths and 400,000 injuries, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Here’s a quick reminder of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s distracted driving regulations:
  • Texting and hand-held cellphone use is prohibited while driving a commercial motor vehicle used in interstate commerce.
  • Drivers may incur fines up to $2,750.
  • Repeat offenses can lead to disqualification or put a driver out of service for up to 120 days.
  • Your employer could be fined up to $11,000.

Simply put, distracted driving means no reaching, no holding, no dialing, no texting, and no reading while driving.

Try these five tips to help avoid distraction:

1. Turn off all unnecessary devices. Put any personal smartphones or electronics away. Turn them off, or set them to silent or “do not disturb” mode while driving. Never pick up a smartphone by hand to call or text while driving a truck—even if you’re at a stoplight. And while hands-free devices are legal, know that talking on the phone while driving still takes your mind off the road.

2. Plan ahead. Make distracted driving prevention part of your pre-trip routine. Set your route in advance on a GPS device. Plan meals for before or after the trip if possible. Prepare all the music for your drive before you start your truck.

3. Don’t multitask. If you need to write a note to yourself, use a dispatching device, or do anything other than drive, pull over and stop the truck first.

4. Keep your eyes on the road. Don’t let eye-catching billboards, buildings, landscapes, or even other people steal your attention away from the road. According to the NHTSA, taking your eyes off the road for just 5 seconds while traveling at 55 mph is the same as driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed.

5. Drive defensively. Look out for other drivers. They may be driving while distracted and could cause a serious accident.

Our View: What's in store for logistics in 2021?

We've already talked a little bit about the retail industry and where we hope it's going in 2021. In this recent blog, we share our predictions for our industry for the new year. It includes everything from sustainability efforts to the ongoing effects of COVID-19. 

Team Member Spotlight:  Chris Lighthall

When Chris Lighthall started working for On Time Logistics in early January 2020, little did any of us realize how the pandemic would change the world in just a few short months. Chris has continued to step up to the proverbial plate as our Residential Delivery Director as e-commerce rose to record numbers. Read more about him on our blog

Birthdays in February 

Bryan Kizer - 2/13
Frank Connors - 2/20
Josh Bowling - 2/20
Heath Woods - 2/24
We update our blog several times a month. It includes company news, team member highlights, industry insights, and more. Read more on our website

Don't forget to shop with NWA Unclaimed Furniture!

Do you follow our NWA Unclaimed Furniture company on Facebook? We frequently share some of the many pieces of fantastic furniture that is available in our two showrooms:in Springdale (1710 S. Powell Street, Springdale) and now in our booth at Gathered Goods (100 N 8th St STE A, Rogers). Some items may have minor imperfections and all items are at great prices. 
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