Christmas Trees Ready To Roll
In many homes across the nation, a Christmas tree stands at the center of holiday traditions.
While some lament the arrival of Christmas sales or holiday music taking over radio airwaves, Total Quality Logistics knows Christmas trees – the real ones – need to be on the road soon to meet consumer demand a few weeks from now.
Most trees come from one of two main growing regions in the country – the Pacific Northwest or North Carolina – and are being harvested now.
“In a lot of ways they’re like any other perishable commodity,” said TQL broker Joseph L. “Their window is pretty small.”
Joseph has started moving trees from Washington State to California, Texas, Louisiana and points beyond.
“(Tree farmers) want to get as much out as early as they can,” Joseph said. “It helps avoid the cost. The closer you get to the actual holidays, the higher the rates to move them. It’s also just good for them to have their retailers supplied.”
Joseph was one of the company’s top tree movers in 2014. He joined the company almost two years ago, near the end of Christmas tree season in November 2013.
“I keep in touch with my people all year,” he said. “This isn’t something you can do just a week or two before Christmas. We start quoting a month or so out from when we actually move. Once we get into the holiday season, the rates skyrocket at those times.”
A single shipment – usually run via a dry van or flatbed, but occasionally in a reefer if delivering to a particularly warm area – can hold more than 300 trees at a time.
That’s 300-plus memories being made all over the country thanks to the truckload freight industry.
“I like moving them,” Joseph said. “It’s tradition, really. People like the live trees because their parents had them, their grandma had one. And the smell. You can’t beat the smell of a real Christmas tree.”