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Behind the Freight Move: Thanksgiving

On the fourth Thursday of November each year, we pause to give thanks on Thanksgiving day — an occasion that brings friends and loved ones together. And it's a holiday that CSX is proud to be a part of. Because if it is on the table around the holidays, there is a good chance it was shipped on one of our trains.


Over 51 million turkeys are prepared on Thanksgiving across the U.S. That’s a lot of mouths to feed – and we’re talking about the turkeys. To meet demand, CSX partners with the agriculture industry, connecting grain producers and poultry farmers to deliver high-quality feed, ensuring healthy and nutritious chickens and turkeys year-round. Learn how CSX helped one poultry producer improve efficiencies and scale their business.  


Your Favorite Holiday Pies

Pumpkin, sweet potato, Nana’s secret recipe — no matter what your favorite holiday pie may be, chances are that the filling and ingredients required to make the crust were transported by rail. Each year CSX moves 5,773 carloads of canned goods, including your favorite pie filling, which is the equivalent of over 1 billion 12-oz. cans of food



If you’re one of the many people who agree that the side dishes are the best part of the Thanksgiving feast, you’re in luck. CSX moves over 500,000 tons of fresh vegetables every year. That’s enough green bean casserole and sweet potato soufflé for a long winter’s nap.


This year, over 39 million people will travel over holiday weekend to break bread with friends and family. Every year CSX delivers over 32,000 carloads of wheat and 13,500 carloads of flour. And with one carload carrying enough grain to make 258,000 loaves of bread, that’s a lot to be thankful for. 



Whether they keep things fresh, roast, bake or wash, kitchen appliances take center stage on Thanksgiving Day. They play a critical role in the preparation, serving, cleanup and storage of the day’s big meal (and yes, those infamous leftovers), and CSX moves nearly 500,000 large appliance units annually. This includes washers, dryers and refrigerators manufactured in the U.S.

Beer & Wine

From craft brews to classic domestics and imports, brewers use rail to source ingredients critical to the art of brewing beer. This, of course, includes the usual suspects: grain, barley and hops. After the fermentation process is complete, wine makers and beer brewers move cases of beer and wine by rail into the market. Annually, CSX delivers over 87,616 cases of beer and 20,694,188 cases, or 200 million bottles, of wine.


Dinning Room Tables

You can sit a lot of people around a standard six-foot dining room table, just as you can fit a lot of unassembled furniture and home décor products in one of our 53-foot intermodal containers. From moving raw lumber by the carload to transporting finished dining room tables by intermodal, we deliver capacity — no assembly required.  

Home Furniture

Did you know we transport relaxation and comfort? After the last bite is enjoyed, Pops heads from the table to the recliner. Most of the components in dad’s favorite chair move by rail, from the lumber used to build the frame to the metal springs and coils.


The CSX Advantage 

Each day CSX railroaders are hard at work ensuring your favorite meal travels from Rail to Table in an efficient and cost-effective way.  This year, according to the 32nd annual American Farm Bureau Federation’s Thanksgiving price survey, the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 is $49.12, down seventy-five cents from last year.

As new entrants into the grocery industry drive prices down to compete for consumers’ food budgets, grocers will have to assess ways to lower expenses throughout their operations including the supply chain. One way to lower supply chain expenditures is to decrease transportation costs, which account for over 60% of supply chain expenses according to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals 2017 State of Logistics report. Utilizing rail to move products provide grocers cost-efficiencies when compared to moving goods by truck.

To better serve customers, CSX is implementing a new operating plan, Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR). PSR is focused on providing customers, including the agriculture industry and grocers, a faster, more-efficient rail service product. Decreasing transit times required to move goods from the field to processing plant is a competitive advantage, a key ingredient in the recipe for success in the agriculture and grocery industry. Learn more about how CSX partners with the agriculture industry, visit csx.com/Harvest.



Explore the Holidays