A Look Into The Trucking Industry and the Coronavirus From a Driver’s Perspective

We’ve seen various advertisements sharing the phrase, “If you bought, it a truck driver brought it.” We’ve all seen and heard on the news about the shortages of supplies, such as toilet paper and cleaning products, and how stores are trying to keep up with the supply and (over)demand. Guess where those supplies come from? If you guessed a truck, you guessed correctly.

We are in the midst of an unprecedented global situation right now. The trucking industry is often looked at as a leading indicator of where the rest of the economy is headed. Approximately 71% of America’s freight is moved on trucks. Every single thing, in every store from huge retailers, grocery chains and, a small business, at some point traveled by truck. Moving freight is such a basic part of our economy and it is hard to imagine a day without it. As businesses shut down and stay closed or business is reduced, that reduces some freight requirements. It also increases other freight movements in some places because demand from people is increasing in stores that are still open. On April 22, 2020, the American Transportation Research Institute released new data that quantifies the continued impacts of COVID-19 business disruptions on the trucking industry. 

Concerns

As the DMV’s are shutting down and or have limited access, drivers and prospective drivers are unable to take tests or obtain the necessary licenses needed. With the Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements and physicals at DOT testing locations, drivers are limited to obtaining required physical testing for general health exams.

Safety and exposure

During deliveries, truck drivers are not really dealing with big groups of people like factories, warehouses, and big plants, which can employ hundreds of people at a time. Drivers typically remain within their vehicles and they have little or no contact with people. At my husband’s company, he is being told things that everyone can do to limit their exposure such as: keep heavy or plastic gloves on at all times, wipe the insides of the trucks down multiple times a day, allow no one in your truck, and keep your individual environment as secured and safe as you can. They have eliminated e-signatures and do not allow anyone to touch their work telephone. If they have to interact with anyone they are keeping 6 feet distance and making phone calls to customers instead of going in.

Shipping yards and vendors

Most major vendors and production companies fully intend to stay open. All the railroads are open and in full operations. All steamship lines are open and fully operational. Manufacturing facilities are still operating and many of them may have switched up their products to now produce items in response to COVID-19, such as parts for respirators, etc. Volumes may be bumpy with on and off freight to pick up with periods of low volume and high volume to be expected.

In speaking with a driver: “Roads are about the same amount of trucks on the roads. Less volumes of traffic. No traffic jams for weeks, less cars and no accidents. Drivers seem to be slowing down. Railyards are busier, lots of very long truck lines, drivers waiting to be loaded. The export and import containers are moving and being loaded. Production is definitely more so than before and I expect it to get better and continue to grow.”

Written by Arianna Fleckenstein

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We are aware that everyone has been affected by the recent response to COVID-19 but we hope that you find some comfort in knowing that we are still operational and here to assist you.

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This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.

 

This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.

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