What the Amazon-Whole Foods Price Cuts Mean for Trucking
Throughout the history of the freight industry, new competitors, market segments, and sub-industries have developed constantly. With each new development, there are always rumors that the freight industry may end up reeling after a big change.
This isn’t to say the trucking industry is unaffected by changes, or that future changes won’t have a bigger impact than those of the past. But the big merger between e-commerce kingpin Amazon and grocery company Whole Foods has those in the delivery industry looking on with interest.
The idea of having groceries delivered was once thought of as nothing more than a futuristic, hypothetical scenario. Now, retail giants with the resources to handle the task are already going on test runs.
Walmart has added a delivery option to the pick-up section of its website in many areas, using Uber drivers to staff their fleets and get fresh groceries to customers in various cities. Amazon has made even more waves as they recently announced that the price of Whole Foods’ products would be slashed.
Big discounts and big savings is enough to build more public interest in the company’s inventory, which can in turn be used to build more support for the delivery option. This means, that for the first time, the freight industry isn’t the only one that delivers perishables for money.
There have been a few attempts at handling grocery delivery in the past, but the industry has never seen the type of progress. For the trucking industry, it means a new competitor. However, there is a big difference between delivering a load of groceries to a local customer and hauling dozens or hundreds of pounds of perishables over long distances.
Truckers are the only ones who have the capacity, the logistical capabilities, and the public trust necessary to handle major food transport at this time. Though grocery delivery is a convenient option which can help people save time and hassle, it doesn’t serve as a threat to the freight industry in its current form.
If anything, this move toward grocery delivery may lead trucking companies to expand their efforts in these areas. As customers spend more money on the service, carriers may see it becoming a more profitable option.