THE VITAL LINK
The COVID-19 pandemic is creating hardships for many workers. They must expose themselves to the most dangerous virus in decades because their jobs are considered essential. They toil at their jobs working longer hours. Many are not going home to see their family for fear of infecting them. Finding mask and gloves has been difficult. Most are reporting that they are finding new challenges that they have never experienced in the past.
We are not talking about doctors or nurses, first responders or police. We are talking about truck drivers. They are heroes among those dedicated selfless workers who recognize they are needed to ensure medical supplies, food and PPE reach their destination throughout the country’s hot spots.
Truckers are proudly doing their part to help get fellow Americans through this crisis. These drivers are not thinking about November. They are focused on today and tomorrow. They’re concerned about getting their loads from point A to point B and then finding another load without having to dead head 200 to 300 miles. They have seen the freight rates for most commodities and locations implode. They are worried about their family, paying bills, putting food on the table and making ends meet.
For drivers moving groceries or medical supplies trucks are in demand. Those that depend on either large or small manufacturing businesses have seen a dramatic reduction of opportunities as non-essential plants are closed and loads are hard to come by. Comparing the first week of April to the last week of March, posts on spot load boards dropped 38.7% while the number of truckers looking for loads increased 12.7%.
Small-business truckers and professional drivers are a vital link in our nations supply chain. Every day they are putting their lives on the line for the good of the country. They are finding decent meals are hard to come by. They experience challenges in finding a place to park their trucks where they can get a few hours of sleep. Even finding places to use the restroom or wash their hands is not easy.
Like so many people coming together in this pandemic, shippers and receivers of freight should recognize this is a time to support your carriers and their drivers. Make sure hand sanitizer is available where paperwork must be handled and signed. Some shippers are providing ‘goody bags’ for drivers, others are trying to reduce dwell time to load and unload trucks with better scheduling. This is the time to be creative and think about what your company can do to ensure that the drivers who are a vital extension of your business are safe and appreciated. As president Trump recently said from the south lawn of the White House: “Thank God for Truckers.”
Data2Logistics is here to support companies in meeting the challenges of an ever evolving logistics environment. To learn more about how we can support your business, contact Harold B. Friedman at [email protected] or 609.577.3756.