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Behind the Freight Move: Black Friday

For some, the day after Thanksgiving is a time for leftovers, naps and more leftovers. For the holiday shopping enthusiast, it's a day for door-buster deals, extended hours and full shopping carts. And let's just say that the biggest shopping day of the year didn't become the biggest shopping day of the year without our help.

Smart Phones and Tablets

60% of shoppers plan to purchase gifts online this year using their smartphones. Smartphones and tablets are no longer just an item on people’s holiday shopping list; they are essential to helping shoppers complete their list. 


Almost 50% of gift givers will be gifting clothing this holiday season. Clothing is frequently moved by intermodal rail from textile plants to distribution centers before being moved to big box retailers, online ecommerce stores and chic boutiques across the U.S.


TVs and Entertainment Systems

TVs are a popular Black Friday door buster. In fact, this year alone, TVs and entertainment systems make up 40% of electronics items purchased. And before people line up outside the store anxiously awaiting a rock-bottom price on a TV, manufacturers assemble each unit and transport the flat-screens by intermodal rail to a network of distribution centers ahead of Black Friday. 

Appliances & Home Furnishings

Another popular door buster are appliances and home furnishings. In 2017, projections forecast $60,688 million in appliances and home furnishings will be sold in the U.S. The parts needed to manufacture appliances including metal, plastics and other inputs as well as the finished products often move by both carload and intermodal rail. 



It’s practically a requirement to grab a cup of joe to keep warm and caffeinated while in search of this year’s best deals. But before your favorite cup of joe is poured into a to-go cup at your nearby coffee shop, over 26 million bags of coffee beans are imported by ships into ports across the U.S. From there, they’re moved by train to processing plants and roasters.


Don’t lose your spot in line just because hunger hits. Pack a granola bar or your favorite snack to keep fueled all Black Friday. Granola bars and food products that are boxed and loaded onto pallets are ideal freight for intermodal rail. Did you know that intermodal containers are also known as boxes? With domestic intermodal containers measuring at 53ft long, that’s one big box of snacks.


Rail Delivers for Retailers Ahead of Black Friday


The secret to many shoppers Black Friday success lies in showing up early. Retailers use this same strategy by shipping goods early, well ahead of peak shopping times from manufacturing sites to distribution centers in order to meet consumer demand.

Rail provides retail companies a cost-effective way to transport goods. Go behind the scenes and see firsthand how the goods you’re searching for on Black Friday are transported from point A to point B in panoramic 360° views. Watch as trains and trucks work together to move freight efficiently across the U.S. >> WATCH NOW





Explore the Holidays