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Thanksgiving Logistics

Thanksgiving travelToday is the busiest travel day for Americans getting to friends and family for Thanksgiving celebrations. Airports and Roads will accommodate around 55.3 million travellers over the festive period. 96% of American families get together, with 48.5 million driving and 30.6 million flying.

Human migration has taken place for thousands of years, the largest human migration of all is Chinese New Year, known as Chunyun. 7 times larger than Thanksgiving, 385 million people travel during the Chinese New Year holiday. This tradition has taken place for over 3,500 years and believed to have started during the Shang Dynasty 1600-1046 BC.


These annual celebrations require huge amounts of preparation and planning. For Thanksgiving the Retail Logistics will include every kind of commodity from the Turkeys (46million are consumed) to the gifts,165 million Americans shop over this weekend.

The most popular gifts are clothes and accessories, followed by toys. Most of these goods are manufactured outside the USA, 80% of the worlds’ toys are manufactured in China and over half of these – $25 billion-worth go to America.

Chinese toy factory workers

clothes railThe US garment industry is worth over $2.4 trillion annually and employs millions of workers worldwide, most clothes are made in Bangladesh, India, China, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. But China is the top textile exporter, in 2018 exporting $119 billion with the EU is next, exporting $74 billion of textiles.

Then we move onto Black Friday where Americans spend a further $6.2 billion on top of their Thanksgiving spending.

To transport all these goods from manufacturer to consumer involves supply chain logistics, utilising every mode of freight forwarding. The global transportation and logistics industry continues to grow as demand for flexibility, easy accessibility, reliability and door to door services increase. Of an industry valued at approximately $8.1 trillion, over $2.5 trillion is on freight forwarding alone and road transport accounts for 44.6% of revenue.

Thanksgiving is later than usual this year, it falls on the 4th Thursday of November, regardless of whether it is the last Thursday of the month or not, this means the peak shopping and shipping season is a week shorter than usual. For consumers, we recommend getting an early start on holiday shopping and shipping.

To all of our American friends Happy Thanksgiving.

For any questions on retail logistics and freight forwarding please contact one of our team on +44 (0)1622 237979 or

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