Back-to-school is the second biggest shopping season of the year according to Deloitte, and it’s only continuing to grow. In fact, experts at National Retail Federation (NRF) predict that families will spend 10 percent more this year than they did in 2016, totaling roughly $83.6 million.
According to Deloitte’s back-to-school study, parents and families will shop at a variety of retailers including:
Retailers, and the manufacturers that produce the goods they sell, rely on a mix of transportation services including traditional rail, intermodal and truck to move goods from the production line to fulfillment centers and ultimately the hands of consumers.
Shoppers’ patronage of a mix of brick and mortar and online shopping outlets underscores the rise of omni-channel preferences. While in-store spending accounts for over twice that of online back-to-school spending this year ($288 in-store vs $103 online, on average), retailers are having to update fulfillment and supply chain strategies to keep pace with today’s digital buying behaviors.
Making the grade in supply chain 101
CSX Transportation supports companies coast-to-coast – from office supply stores to school product manufacturers – and helps decrease transportation costs and environmental impacts while increasing capacity. CSX’s ability to help its customers meet consumer demand lies in part in its far-reaching network, connecting manufacturing sites, warehouses and fulfillment centers.
The expansive market reach allows CSX to partner with companies to transport back-to-school essentials like the rolls of paper used to make sheets of loose-leaf, crackers and cookies, school uniforms, tablets, computers and more. From the perfect first day outfit to ingredients needed for the classic Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches, CSX meets back-to-school demand no matter how you slice it – diagonally or across.
In fact, let’s get a bit more granular when it comes to grain: Before a parent packs away a PB&J in a lunchbox, the bread had quite a journey of its own. The wheat and grain used to make the bread is often transported by rail to production sites. From there, it is baked, sliced, and packaged, then transported by intermodal rail, a mix of trucks and trains, to grocery distribution centers.
Engaging in extracurricular activities
CSX goes beyond delivering pens and pencils to ensure kids and communities are supported throughout the schoolyear by working with organizations and grant programs across our network. To kick off the 2017 school year, CSX team members volunteered at Stout Field Elementary school in Indianapolis, IN. Volunteers worked with the community on a variety of service projects to ensure the campus and school were ready for a successful academic year.
Delivering back-to-school success and supply chain solutions year around
CSX is committed to helping customers make the grade and meet rising demand in back-to-school season and year around through a variety of transportation offerings including carload, intermodal, transloading services and international shipping solutions. If you or your company are new to rail, click here for the top questions shippers have regarding rail transportation or test your supply chain knowledge in Railroad 101.