Delivery Boom Strains Logistics Infrastructure, Boosts Van Sales

Ecommerce Is Reshaping Logistics, Pushing Van Sales

The eCommerce boom and America’s thirst for fast deliveries has impacted the van industry, warehouse demand and the traffic in cities, as more and more roads are getting congested with the increased traffic, according to reports.  

Warehouses around the country are almost always full, and there’s barely any vacancy at all. Trucks and vans block traffic in cities and take up curb space, and there’s no sign that the trend will lessen anytime soon. 

Today eCommerce “has completely transformed the industrial market, and we’re still kind of wrapping our heads around it,” said Matthew Walaszek, an associate director of research at commercial real estate firm CBRE.

The trouble is that the country’s physical infrastructure hasn’t kept pace with the rapidly changing logistics and delivery market.

“Seven years ago, thinking that you’d be getting cheeseburgers delivered by the millions was kind of crazy, right?” said Chris Baggott, CEO of ClusterTruck.

The warehouse space issue has become so prevalent that some companies are thinking about building them vertically, to add more space. In Asia, these types of warehouses are the norm.

The eCommerce boom has also had a side effect: van sales are through the roof, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Cargo vans, used to transport packages and other eCommerce items, continue to surge and break sales records, and manufacturers are adding features to typically no-frills vans as the category continues to grow.

Van sales are on pace to jump 19 percent this year, and they rose 5 percent last year. The sales are expected to continue through 2025 as demand for shorter delivery times continuers to increase.

Some of the companies benefitting are Daimler, Ford, Fiat and Ram. Smaller vans are an ideal way to deal with shorter delivery routes and smaller streets, as well as same-day delivery services.

The vans only have about one third the space as a typical box truck from FedEx or UPS, but they can be reloaded several times a day. 


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