The logistics of the holiday shopping season

The biggest shopping season of the year is already underway, and with it the annual logistics holiday rush.

Retailers need seasonal inventory. Shoppers are searching for the perfect gifts and decor. That’s where logistics companies like TQL come in – to ensure all these goods arrive on time.

This year, consumers’ holiday spending is predicted to reach record heights across the country. Per the National Retail Federation (NRF), anticipated spending is expected to increase 3% to 4% in November and December compared to 2022 and land somewhere between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion.

Although many consumers (46%) started shopping for the holidays before November, Black Friday and Cyber Monday reign supreme. NRF reported that a record 196.7 million consumers shopped over the 2022 Thanksgiving weekend.

Inflation and an uncertain economy have not deterred spending projections for consumers who, according to NRF, plan to continue shopping through December.

To accommodate the holiday shopping frenzy, TQL began transporting goods as early as mid-summer via ocean freight. Sea freight from Asia takes a considerable amount of time. It takes an average of 16 days to transport freight from China’s Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan, the busiest port in the world in terms of cargo tonnage, to the Port of Long Beach in California.

Shipments of domestic items ramped up in October, increased in November ahead of Black Friday and will remain consistent through Christmas.

TQL works directly with 21 of the nation’s top 25 retailers.  With so much seasonal inventory, it can be challenging for retailers to store it.

TQL’s comprehensive portfolio of logistics services and network of 160,000+ carriers provide agile solutions for holiday shopping needs by adjusting modes and carriers.

TQL provides on-site storage to brick-and-mortar retail locations and distribution centers with exclusive access to a pool of 5,000 leased trailers. The use of these trailers creates continuous and flexible capacity. They’re loaded as needed and hauled to a destination by a power unit when they’re ready, a boon for retailers seeking constant holiday inventory.

TQL’s network of carriers are equipped to drop their own trailers on-site if necessary, with dry vans and reefers to accommodate dry commodities and temperature-controlled commodities including produce, meat, dairy and beverages.

Capacity and nimbleness are two other key attributes that allow TQL to keep freight moving. TQL pivots to meet required delivery dates when necessary, like offering faster delivery by shifting from a Less Than Truckload (LTL) option to a dedicated box truck or FTL partial services.

TQL’s capabilities include combining LTL or multi-drop shipments with a dedicated FTL truck, bypassing the hub and terminal delivery system of traditional LTL. The service provides several benefits to the shipper, from price and transit times to sustainability.

TQL’s ability to meet shifting delivery appointments, handle weather complications and adapt to last-minute load changes ensures the delivery of holiday goods to their final destinations. 

Learn more about TQL’s holiday shipping options or book a load at

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