Thanksgiving, whether Canadian or American, is a great time of year. It brings together families, food and, if you are lucky, you usually get some time off as well. Folks gather round and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on TV. The local stores and shopping malls are usually pretty crazy - not just leading up to Thanksgiving but especially the day before...and heaven knows the day after as well!
As much as we complain about what a pain it is to get to the store during these busy periods, it’s actually pretty convenient. And who do we have to thank? We have truck drivers to thank! These are the folks who transport all the goodies cross country so that we can step out to the store and easily access everything we need.
Thanksgiving aka Turkey Time
And that includes turkeys! According to the National Turkey Federation, 46 million turkeys will be eaten in the United States and 3.1 million turkeys in Canada. Now that’s a lot of bird! And how are all these millions of turkeys distributed to your local grocery store? By trucks, of course!
It’s estimated that truck drivers will deliver about 16,600 truckloads of turkeys to the United States for Thanksgiving alone.
Although there are less people consuming turkeys in Canada, it’s a bigger country with a spread out population, which requires a lot of work to transport everything to everyone. And many of the turkeys Americans consume are from Canada. That’s a Canadian turkey - eh!
All the Fixins
Whether your family has turkey or not, there are definitely a feast of sides to be made as well. Nearly 94% of American households have cranberries for Thanksgiving, which is about 80 million pounds of cranberries. Add in the 3 billion pounds of sweet potatoes produced each year and that’s a lot of fixins to transport!
Truck drivers have several hectic weeks prior to Thanksgiving, transporting all the food for grocery stores, including the pumpkins for your grandma’s classic pie recipe. Many of these are perishables, so time and planning are definitely of the essence.
Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days within North America. It is estimated that about 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving festivities.
Whether travelling by car, train or plane, these modes of transport require gas which - as you guessed it - is transported by truckers across both Canada and the United States. And gas doesn’t just transport people.
Black Friday: Mother of All Shopping Days
Shop at all? Set your alarm clock early and lay out your clothes the night before because the post-Thanksgiving Black Friday frenzy is almost upon us.
This is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, only trumped by the two days before Christmas. It’s that magical time of year when retail stores are ‘back in the black’ from a typically slow start to the business year.
Did you know that nearly 134 million people shop on Black Friday alone? In fact, 2014 data showed in-store spending was about $51 billion and online was $1.5 billion. To put it in perspective, each shopper spent about $380 on their purchase. On average!
Not only do truck drivers need to transport all these items to the store on time, they will also need to transport all the items that are purchased on Cyber Monday. And the week after Black Friday generates yet another $2 billion in online sales alone. All that commerce is possible because of truck drivers.
So, this Thanksgiving, when you’re enjoying your meal and the sweet deals you got at your favorite store, remember that this wouldn’t be possible without the trucking industry. Give thanks to the truck drivers out there. If you bought it, they brought it :)
Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at BigRoad!