North America’s trucking industry has been buffeted by the storms of change stirred up the Coronavirus pandemic, and some of that change may turn out be long lasting.
As trucking companies scramble to maintain operational levels, while keeping drivers healthy has been a key focus for many carriers, according to attorneys Dameon Cons and Brian Del Gatto of the law firm of Wilson Elser.
“This has become increasingly challenging considering the continued demand and need for supplies to be distributed in the quickest manner possible,” they point out. “Many drivers have stated concern with emotional stress for their families, their finances and their own well-being.”
There have been reports of long wait times at pickup and delivery points because of a lack of receiver onsite personnel, which has upset and clogged many receiving schedules and caused slower than usual turnaround times for freight.
Some drivers have been advised by their companies to self-quarantine in their tractors after experiencing Covid-19-like symptoms, thrusting the drivers and their managers into unchartered territory.
To provide drivers with needed assistance, some fleets have created resources like in-house driver hotlines manned with health and wellness teams to assist drivers with health concerns, educate them about important safety measures and help by communicating with customers and truck stops in advance to ensure drivers have safe places to park and carry out their duties.
“While the transportation industry continues to feel the downward pressures of the health crisis, there are glimpses of hope that demonstrate a recovery is in sight and the trucking industry will be an essential piece to our economic rebound,” Cons and Del Gatto state.