Truck drivers are getting harder to find, creating a push towards rail as a preferred means of transporting goods across the US. That means collateral impacts in the intermodal cold storage and drayage business. What can foot traffic patterns at one of the nation’s leading suppliers of cold storage logistics tell us?
We used our BYO Venue Data Platform connected with Google geocoding to examine foot traffic patterns around five intermodal Americold venues between May 2 and July 31 2021. The five venues we examined are labeled Americold 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Their locations are: City of Industry, CA, Salt Lake City, UT, Carthage, MO, Atlanta, GA and Fogelsville, PA.
We included all foot traffic within the defined venue polygons, which are industrial areas with direct or easy access to railway lines and highways used for intermodal transportation of goods. Our objectives for this analysis are threefold:
- Measure the total and average foot traffic of each venue by week, day of week and hour;
- Segment foot traffic into associated work shifts to determine peak operational periods; and
- Calculate the average distance travelled by Workers and others to reach each venue.
Foot traffic analysis by week
In general, foot traffic across the five measured venues peaked early June and bottomed-out near the beginning of July. After the holiday weekend, the total trend is flat to slightly declining through the end of July, indicating usage inline with near the end of April 2021.
The most active facility by total foot traffic is Americold 3 in Carthage, MO, followed by Americold 5 in Fogelsville, PA. Americold 3 recorded the highest peak week (720 persons per day) from July 4 to July 10. Americold 1 in City of Industry, CA was the least-visited venue, with its low week coming May 2 to May 8 (60 persons per day).
The venue with the steadiest weekday shift is Americold 5, where 46.7% of all foot traffic occurred Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The busiest weekends by percentage of weekly foot traffic were at Americold 1, where 23.9% of all traffic came on Saturdays and Sundays. On Saturdays alone, Americold 2 was the busiest, with 12.5% of its average foot traffic for a week coming on that day.
Foot traffic analysis by shift
By segmenting the hours of the day into three common work shifts and analyzing associated traffic data for each day of the week, we get a picture of when each venue is the most active.
Day shifts are generally busier than midnight shifts and midnight shifts are generally busier than afternoon shifts. Americold 1 has the largest percentage of foot traffic during the dayshift at 56.3%, while Americold 3 has the lowest percentage of dayshift foot traffic at 41.9%.
The busiest midnight shift is at Americold 3, with 33.9% of all weekly traffic recorded between midnight and 8 a.m. The quietest midnight shift is at Americold 4 where just 26.4% of all foot traffic is recorded from midnight to 8 a.m.
The busiest afternoon shift is at Americold 4 (25.8%) and the slowest afternoon shift is at Americold 1 (15.6%). Saturdays are the slowest day of the week across all venues, with average weekly foot traffic of about 5%.
Americold 3 is the most consistently busy with more than 22% of all activity recorded on each of the three shifts measured. Americold 2 and 3 are the only venues measured not to record more than 10% of all weekly foot traffic in at least one measured shift.
Foot traffic by catchment area
As each venue is located in an industrial area and measured specific to its own polygons, it is reasonable that the vast majority of traffic to each site is composed of a) those who work directly for Americold, or b) others involved in the shipping/drayage business.
To that end, we examined the average distance travelled by all visitors to each venue, in order to understand its total catchment area.
On average, people travelled the farthest to reach Americold 4 in Atlanta, GA, with 69% travelling 25km or more to make the trip. The shortest travel times are claimed by people frequenting Americold 2 in Salt Lake City (43% travel 25 km or more).
Using the example of Americold 3 in Carthage, MO, the catchment area is spread over main arteries running southwest of the Carthage venue, with areas near Joplin lighting up as major sources of traffic.
The data presented here is meant to provide topline indicators of what human mobility data can tell us about the business of Americold and others in the supply and logistics industry. Unacast can help you go much deeper and empower you to use this data to inform the planning and support of supply chain operations.
Venue Data -- What you can do with it?
Our Venue Data Package lets you view visitation to venues so that you can understand:
- Brand or Venue Fidelity - How loyal are visitors?
- Visitor Profiling - What is the demographic make-up of visitors?
- Site Performance - How many people visit my venue?
- Competitive Intelligence -How does my visitation compare to competitors?
How you can use it?
The Venue Data Package helps you understand visitation to venues by calculating:
- Visitation Counts - Daily, Weekly, Monthly visit counts to venues.- Capture Rate & Area Visitation
- Area foot traffic and percent visitation out of total area traffic.
- Visitor Demographics - Income, educational attainment, age, gender, and race/ethnicity profiles of visitations to a venue.- Visitation Distributions
- Venue visitation patterns by hour, day, hour & day, and median dwell time.
- Trade Area - Distribution of distance from home and work to venue, and home/work origins of traffic.
- Cross Visitation - Visitor visitation to top Venues, Brands, and Categories.