Americans will consume close to 50 million turkeys on Thanksgiving. In Thanksgiving by the Numbers CNN reported that we consumed 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving 2014. If the average turkey weighs 16 pounds that’s 800 million pounds of turkey! The Trucker blog, The Road, did the logistics of shipping math for us, “No need to do the math, it is roughly 16.6 thousand full truckloads of turkey. For those of you who want to know how I reached that number: there are about 750 cases on a truck with 4 turkeys per case, which equals 3,000 turkeys.”  More than 16,000 truckloads of turkeys and that’s not all.

Cranberries – According to Ocean Spray “80 million pounds of cranberries will be consumed by Americans this Thanksgiving along with the 5 million gallons of jellied cranberry sauce consumed every holiday season.” And 99.9% of those cranberries will be shipped by truck.

Sweet Potatoes – shared this, “2.4 billion pounds, of sweet potatoes—another popular Thanksgiving side dish—were produced by major sweet potato producing states in 2014.” I wonder how many truckloads that is.

Pumpkin – Pumpkins aren’t only for Halloween. What would Thanksgiving be without the traditional Pumpkin Pie? “Around 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are produced on 75,000 acres in the United States annually.” — Pumpkin Patch I’ve seen truckloads of pumpkins travelling the roads, have you?

The Trucking Industry is the Founder of the Feast

Without the dedicated trucking companies and hard-working drivers, there would be no Thanksgiving feast. No fresh turkey, no cranberries, no cans of green beans for the green bean casserole, no sweet potatoes, and no pumpkin pie. The trucking industry’s impact on the holiday goes beyond the feast. For instance, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade uses a lot of helium, and it’s delivered by truck. “This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade features 15 giant balloons which, in total, require a whopping 300,000 cubic feet of helium to stay afloat. That’s roughly the same volume as 2.2 million gallon jugs of milk.” – And for those of you shopping on Black Friday, how do you think all those special deals get to your favorite stores?

Thank a Truck Driver on Thanksgiving

It’s ironic that truckers make it possible for our families to enjoy our favorite holiday ingredients while at the same time many truck drivers will miss Thanksgiving with their families because they’re delivering food to everyone else. Next time you see a truck driver think of what he or she means to your family gathering and then take a moment to thank them. Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo by Tim Sackton / CC BY-SA