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Supply chain disruptions gobbling up this year’s Thanksgiving dinner

Supply chain disruptions gobbling up this year’s Thanksgiving dinner

When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, turkey is king. According to the National Turkey Federation, 46 million turkeys are eaten every year over the holiday in the United States, with nearly nine in 10 Americans having at least a slice of the bird on the big day. But due to challenges in the supply chain, it looks like that could change in 2021.

Inventories of frozen whole turkeys and turkey parts were 24% lower than 3-year average volumes as consumers gobble up supply, while production is at its lowest point in six years. For many of those in the market for a plump bird for the centerpiece of their Thanksgiving dinner and do manage to grab one, this is likely going to mean paying a premium price at the supermarket this year.

Of course, as with many shortages, there isn’t truly a shortage. Turkey farmers have been just as busy raising their birds and preparing for the holiday rush, so there are in fact plenty of turkeys. Instead, the challenges have come from disruptions along the supply chain. Turkeys are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Disruptions are occurring across the supply chain — from labor shortages at farms, meatpacking plants, warehouses and ports leading to delays in shipments, to shortages of aluminum, plastics and other packaging materials adding to the challenge of getting those frozen Butterballs on the shelves. Put together, this means finding the perfect bird is likely to take a bit more work than usual this year. 

Identifying and resolving these types of issues quickly is critical to the success of supply chain operations, however traditional methods can make this challenging. To discover how Shipwell is helping shippers harness the latest technology to uncover and eliminate disruptions like these to get everything from Thanksgiving dinner to holiday gift essentials where they’re needed, when they’re wanted, watch our on-demand webinar, or schedule a demo today.