Giving Thanks to the Supply Chain


Giving Thanks to the Supply Chain

Before mass production, one would have to grow their own sides and raise their own turkey for Thanksgiving. Thanks to the supply chain and the truckers willing to drive long days and many miles, all you have to do is buy the ingredients and cook the turkey. Thanksgiving and the start of holiday shopping would not be the same without the shippers and carriers working hard to prepare the goodies that we look forward to year after year.

Gobbling This Up

Let’s start with the Thanksgiving meal itself. The main course, the golden bird, the turkey. It is estimated that the U.S. consumes over 46 million turkeys each Thanksgiving. That translates to roughly 16,600 truckloads of turkey transported. That’s a lot of traveling birds!

Next, you have the sides and dessert. According to Open Road Drivers Plan, more than 65,000 trucks transport the sides alone to the stores in time for Thanksgiving Day. Let’s break it down further:

  • Cranberries
    • Ocean Spray says that 80 million pounds of cranberries and five million gallons of jellied cranberry sauce is consumed on Thanksgiving.
  • Sweet Potatoes
    • According to, 4 billion pounds of sweet potatoes were produced in 2014 for Thanksgiving.
  • Green Beans
    • Spoon University stated 40 million green bean casseroles are made each year for Thanksgiving.
  • Pies
    • Nationwide states 57 percent of people will eat pumpkin pie for dessert.
    • Around 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are grown each year.
    • Instead of pumpkin, 14 percent choose to eat pecan pie, 9 percent choose sweet potato pie, and 20 percent of people eat some other kinds of pie.

Supplying More Than Food

What about the Thanksgiving Parade? Think about the giant floats you see, and all the helium used to get them in the sky. According to, the 2016 Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade needed 300,000 cubic feet of helium for the balloons. Or in a rough comparison, that is 2.2 million gallon jugs of milk needed in NYC for that day. You can thank supply chain logistics for getting those elements there.

It Is Only The Beginning

Thanksgiving marks the official start of the holiday season. As soon as the empty plates are in the sink and the leftovers in the fridge, Black Friday shopping begins. It is estimated that around 134 million people shop on Black Friday. Then comes Cyber Monday; the week after Black Friday is estimated to generate another 2 billion in online sales. All of that is possible because of trucking.

The holiday season is a time for indulging and overspending, but most importantly, a time to gather with loved ones and reflect on things for which we are thankful. We at Trinity are grateful to work every day with the shippers and truckers that provide us with the goods that we enjoy with our friends and families throughout the year.

AUTHOR: Christine Griffith