I understand what you are saying. However, pushing up on one end of the link might bend it the same way as pushing down on the other end of the link.The bend in the rod seems to indicate the rod was pulled up, not down. This is opposite from what a tie down bend would look like. However, a bend would shorten the effective length of the tie-rod, causing a toe in condition for that wheel. If the toe was reset to factory specs, the rod would have been rotated to make the adjustment which could account for what appears to be an upward bend. Was someone too dumb to realize the rod shouldn't be bent? OR maybe trying to cover up their f--- up?
Just throwing that out there...
Reading everyone’s opinions, my conclusion (perhaps completely wrong) is that the bend was most likely caused by tie-downs.
It would be interesting to find out how these vehicles are getting secured in the rail cars. Rail cars are notorious for getting “humped” and the forces on the cargo are significant. “Industry” is responsible for securely loading cargo into the railroad’s cars.
Inspect your tie rods upon delivery. Pretty sure the OP will not get a warranty claim.