We are seeing the term “essential worker” a lot these days. And right now, we can’t say thank you enough to the people in the different careers and roles, namely the medical industry, first responders and those who are keeping our stores stocked with food. Along with the group of vital positions is that of the freight trucker. As we are all aware, these events have had an economic and medical impact all over the world. In times like these, supply chains everywhere are pushed to the limit and ultimately become stronger thanks to truckers, who are the essential agents of transportation. Read more about how truckers keep goods moving.
How Trucking Has Been Impacted
As COVID-19 started to be on everyone’s radar, people responded by stocking up on supplies in grocery and convenience stores. This, of course, impacted supply chains around the globe and certainly in America, as goods such as paper products, cleaning supplies and food items surged in demand. But, for the time being, this has caused trucking companies to increase their hiring rates amid the massive spike in business, providing some relief to those whose employment has been impacted due to COVID-19.
The entire trucking industry has experienced more relaxed regulatory restrictions to help cope with the unprecedented market conditions. The regulatory body for trucking, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, has lifted rules limiting how many drivers can be on the road for certain types of shipments. And as people have been self-quarantining and limiting their time out in the world, the low volume of road traffic has also been great for truckers who need to move essential items.
As truckers everywhere already face health and home-life balance challenges, COVID-19 makes it a struggle for truckers out there to stay healthy while on the job. Although many truckers can practice social distancing in the safety of their truck cab, much of the transportation process has shifted to digital signatures to combat getting too close to someone else.
While we appreciate everything that truckers are doing, things that were obstacles are lessening now with the help of freight carriers. Travel center operators like TA-Petro and the Pilot Company are taking initiatives to help truckers fulfill their basic health needs and implementing best health practices at facilities . Picking up take-out food and utilizing restrooms and showers at carrier facilities are a few things carriers and operators are doing to assist drivers on the road. And the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has recently permitted food trucks at rest areas to further help truck drivers get decent meals while on the road.
Supporting Truckers Everywhere
People have stepped up and come together everywhere to ease the strain on truckers. Here are some examples:
- Food trucks have been permitted at rest areas, so truckers can get a decent meal on the road.
- Trucker relief fund donations have boosted, helping drivers get the help they need where they need it most--back home.
- Distribution centers are letting truckers fulfill their essential needs at their facilities.
Wondering how you can help support truckers? We've got some ideas:
- If you encounter a trucker or delivery driver, say thank you for their hard work by posting a Thank You sign at delivery/pickup locations!
- Use the hashtag #ThankATrucker on social media to show them love and let them know you’re supporting them as much as they’re supporting you.
- Consider donating to the Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund. This fund goes towards household expenses for truckers unable to drive because of injury or health problems. Tax-deductible donations to St. Christopher’s can be made online at TruckersFund.org.
We also can’t say thank you enough and will continue to provide unwavering support for freight truckers and front line workers everywhere. In the logistics industry, truckers are our front line essential heroes, putting themselves out there and keeping things moving and stocked. Again, we say thank you to the truckers, and we say thank you to our network of carriers, who are playing a vital role as well.
As always, our freight experts are here to help you find the solutions you need to get your shipments to where they need to be.