For B2C and retail supply chains, dedicated planning efforts throughout the year to prepare for the holiday surge period are about to meet the stress test. The Thanksgiving holiday is the stress test for food focused and grocery supply chains. The Black Friday shopping holiday that follows has promotional activities already underway this week, and in a matter of hours, online and in-store consumers will be seeking out the best bargains that extend through the Cyber Monday shopping holiday.

Last year, parcel carriers and logistics providers reported peak surges over the Black Friday weekend and during the first two Mondays in December. This year, parcel carriers expect a rather busy period, anticipating anywhere from 10 to 15 percent in increased parcel shipping volumes through the end of December.

As Supply Chain Matters has noted in prior commentaries, retailers once again have a lot at-stake. Last year’s activities were hampered by logjam and disruption of inbound and outbound holiday focused export inventory among U.S. West Coast ports. Approaching Black Friday this year, indications and evidence reflect that retailers are this year deep in inventory overhang, and such inventories need to be sold. Other data indicates that consumers will be unforgiving and will shop early for the upcoming holidays.

As we enter the holiday, there is a report posted on ZD Net indicating that Amazon has forced automatic individual account password resets with a number of registered users raising speculation that the online retailer may have been hacked in the area of mobile device access.

The next few days are obviously crucial for achieving revenue and profitability expectations for all stakeholders, retailers and carriers alike. If consumer promotions extend further into December, the stakes will obviously be far higher.

In the meantime, enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. Rest as best you can an d give thanks for family, friends and relationships.

We extend a Thanksgiving holiday wish to all of our U.S. based and other global readers for continued blessings.

Stay tuned to Supply Chain Matters for our continuing commentaries related to the 2015 holiday surge events including early insights as to supply chain performance.

Bob Ferrari