As demand spikes for freight movement, many Canadian trucking companies are trying to keep their drivers healthy. The fact is the trucking industry is in a unique position to help contain the spread of COVID-19 but it can also accelerate the spread of the virus. The trucking industry is aware of the importance of containment and is stepping up to educate drivers.
Many trucking companies are scrambling to deliver consumer goods in some areas of the country as people prepare for the worst case scenarios. As far as driver education and information goes, Olivia Young, director of marketing and national sales manager of Navajo Express, Denver, Colorado said that they are using in-cab ELD/telematics system.
The app sends daily tips to drivers, advice on frequent hand-washing and the importance of staying inside the truck as much as possible. When truck drivers arrive at the terminal, they are given tissues, Clorox wipes and other items they need. Truck drivers are issued sanitary gloves and hand sanitizers. They are also advised to stay home and not report to work if they feel unwell. Drivers must be aware to be safe.
According to Bulldog Hiway Express, their company is closely monitoring the corona virus situation daily. Personal hygiene practices that have been outlined by CDC are recommended to all employees. Functional capabilities are being established and tested whether they could operate remotely when the need arises. Customers are informed about the protocols covering drivers that do business at their facilities.
Jay Mathewson, fleet manager of Texas-based Ben E. Keith Foods, said that there is great demand for all disinfectant products and paper products that range from toilet paper and paper towels including hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes. However, if people start to stay home and large events are cancelled, food and beverage distribution fleets may be affected eventually.
Even if goods are sent by train, boat or air, they will eventually require many Canadian trucking companies to move the goods from Point A to Point B. Without trucks, it would be difficult to move oversized shipments to the desired destinations. Without trucks, the domestic economy will take a big hit.