Logistics Behind Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is the time families gather around the table and share delicious home-cooked meals. The logistics of who is hosting, who is bringing what dish and timing for the whole gathering is well into its final stages with Thanksgiving 2019 around the corner. After all, a successful turkey day blossoms out of thoughtful planning. The same is true for the logistics industry. 


In 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be a national day of thanksgiving. The first Thanksgiving transpired well before 1863 between the pilgrims and Native Americans. The two groups gathered in thanks after the first harvest for a three-day-long feast.

Fast forward a few hundred years and the Turkey Thanksgiving continues to bring people together in thanks. However, all this wouldn’t be possible without the work in the logistics industry of supply chain. 

Logistics Behind Thanksgiving Turkey

Logistics is a detailed and intricate system within the supply chain. Due to the many logistic factors, there are disasters which can halt the entire logistics process. 

The Turkey demand is so high at Thanksgiving and Christmas that the turkey process is a year-round operation. For frozen turkeys, logistics organize the operations as they are bred, slaughtered, frozen and stored in the months preceding the holidays, helping the Turkeys go from farm to table

Fresh Turkeys require more complex planning considerations. To keep the Turkeys fresh, fast-paced logistics are required. Shortcuts to speed up the logistics process are a risk to take in fear of ruining the stock. For transportation, the number of stops must be taken into consideration because changes in temperature affect the Turkeys. 

Logistics management begins with the raw materials and ends with the delivery of the final product

Key Aspects of Successful Logistics

  1. Communication: Due to the many departments involved in the supply chain (production, vendors, warehouses, distribution, transportation, retailers), logistics must communicate effectively with all parties so each stage leads effortlessly into the next.
  2. Planning: Accurate forecasting is a must to ensure the product remains fresh. Each step in the process must work together to meet customer expectations. 
  3. Proper Management System: Proper tracking and management systems help keep track, in real-time, the locations and stages of logistics operations. 


Logistics are a complex and detailed process involving many moving parts. From producers to warehouses, transportation and more, this Thanksgiving be thankful to the logistics industry for all they do!


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