Ever since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic happened, a lot of industries have been affected in ways that nobody could have expected. One of the industries that have been greatly affected was the trucking industry. The events of the past year have shown the significance of being prepared for any unexpected emergencies that will require flexibility and innovativeness with regards to operations in the industry. At Trojan Horse Truck Services, we will be sharing some information about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the trucking industry. If you want to know more information, we encourage you to keep reading below.
How Did the Trucking Industry Cope With the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Paperless and Contactless Technology
When the threat of the COVID-19 became a reality for the general population, it brought about the imposition of social distancing and lockdown of different cities. As a result, the trucking industry has opted for the strategy of using paperless operations, electronic bills of lading, and online and virtual meetings with clients.
This strategy has allowed everyone to stay safe and be protected. The safety and protection of both the clients and the drivers are of the utmost priority. It is also not just a safety and sanitation issue, but also it makes the process more effective and efficient.
Transformation of the Office Environment
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and social distancing have been enforced by the government. For most companies, most of the office staff have been instructed to work from home while only a few employers are called to work in the office. Employees who work from home, like employees in IT, have quickly adjusted to the changes and are currently effective and systematic in doing their jobs.
The individuals working from their homes are more at ease and comfortable so they can perform their jobs without any problems. Since they are in their comfort zone, they do not feel that much stress compared to when they were working in a high-stress work environment. Employees with children have taken advantage of working remotely as it allowed them to take care of their kids without compromising on their work. Most offices have downsized their manpower because of the limited operations.
Orientation and Onboarding of the New Truck Drivers
Newly hired truck drivers will need orientation before they start their jobs. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the process has been modified to accommodate and cope with the recent changes to help guarantee that the job will still be done and will benefit the companies even when the pandemic has passed. Most of the orientation and onboarding process is being handled online, which also includes the accomplishment of paperwork. A virtual orientation has been implemented through the use of educational videos and with the implementation of paperless technology and electronic documents.
While the new drivers are still required to do an in-person orientation, most of the orientation process is handled online. Virtual orientations have been productive and coherent and everyone is able to stay safe and practice social distancing.
How Did COVID-19 Affect The Trucking Industry?
The trucking industry plays a crucial role in the economy of a country. When a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic happened, the effects were catastrophic and devastating. A lot of businesses and industries have been affected. Businesses like hotels, retailers, event organizers, salons, and other businesses that order huge quantities of products have closed down, and events like concerts and trade shows have been canceled because of the lockdown and social distancing requirements.
Even businesses that have managed to remain open and cater to all the needs of the people have seen a severe drop in business. For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic spread and social distancing had been imposed restaurants were only allowed to fulfill take-out and delivery orders only.
Other businesses that were not capable of surviving through the lockdown were forced to shut down. This has also affected the trucking industry since the need for trucking services for specific needs has been fewer and seldom ever since the lockdown had been announced.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has helped increase the demand for transportation in certain industries, which has also affected the trucking industry. Grocery stores are one of the sectors that remained open even when strict lockdown and social distancing measures were imposed. A lot of customers stockpiled basic needs items like food, water, medicine, toilet paper, etc., which led to a higher demand that grocery stores struggled to meet.
Online shops, stores, and retailers have experienced a sudden surge in sales. People who have no choice but to stay at home have increased their online orders from stores as they are not allowed to go out to buy their needs in physical stores. They prefer ordering online as it allows them to stay at home where they feel safer and comfortable.
The trucking companies in different countries have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been both benefited and harmed by the lockdown, depending on what sector they cater to. Some have experienced a boom in their orders and have managed to keep up with the increase in demand. A lot of businesses have been dealing with the situation in their own ways, and since we do not have an idea of how long the pandemic will last, it makes things more uncertain.
Important Facts About COVID-19
The novel coronavirus 2019 is a respiratory disease caused by a virus, the SARS-COV-2. The COVID-19 infection can cause deadly complications; individuals that are most at risk for this illness are the elderly and individuals with underlying medical conditions. However, keep in mind that anybody who is exposed to this disease can potentially develop life-threatening symptoms, which is why the best thing to do is to take health and safety measures seriously.
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
The COVID-19 virus spreads from person to person via respiratory droplets through coughing, sneezing, laughing, talking, etc. Individuals that are in close contact with another are prone to exposure to the virus.
Even if you do not show symptoms, you can still test positive for the virus and spread it, and are classified as asymptomatic. This is why even if you don’t show any serious symptoms of the virus, you should be quarantining yourself.
Since the spread of the COVID-19 infection, everyone has equal chances to become infected, so extra precautions should be taken. Long-haul truck drivers are at high-risk of exposure while they’re on the job, so they have to be extra careful throughout the duration of the project. Here are some ways that truck drivers maintain their safety against the virus while working.
- Avoid close contact with other people (truck stop attendants, dock workers, truck drivers, storekeepers, etc. Observe social distancing, you must stay at least 6 feet away from people.
- Avoid touching frequently touched items such as door handles, petrol pumps, etc.
- Always wear masks, avoid touching the exterior part of the mask, and avoid touching your mouth, eyes, nose, and face.
- Use gloves when you need to touch frequently touched areas, objects, and surfaces.
- Always wash your hands with antibacterial soap. You can also use hand sanitizers that contain 60% alcohol or isopropyl alcohol.
- If necessary, go digital or electronic. Avoid receipts and other objects that can be passed around and can be easily exposed to the virus. Paperless and electronic invoicing should always be preferred when fueling, paying, and delivery of goods.
- Lessen the number of times touching shared objects with your bare hands like pens, cups, clipboards, ATM keypads, door handles, etc. Bring and use your pen and other personal items that will prevent you from being exposed to the virus by using shared items.
- Touch fuel pumps using gloves to protect your hands as they are one of the filthiest areas of a truck stop.
- If you need to spend the night in an area with a lot of confirmed COVID-19 cases, stay in your sleeper cab and always practice social distancing.
- Stay inside your truck while supplies are being loaded and unloaded. Limit going outside the truck. Keep the windows up when interacting with another individual.
- Communicate with facilities in advance to make appointments when unloading cargo deliveries. Some facilities do not grant access to restrooms, so make sure to plan properly when you are on the road.
- Use radio or cell phones to speak with dock managers or other drivers to limit contact with other people.
- Make sure to pack food, water, and other important supplies to prevent you from stopping frequently at locations with high foot traffic.
- Avoid shaking hands with other people.
- Your truck must be well-ventilated.
- Always pack extra personal protective equipment in case you will need them during the travel.
- Only visit pre-qualified truck stops or areas identified by your company.
- If you have any questions or some things that are unclear for you, you should ask questions.
When wearing and taking off masks you must do the following:
- Do not touch your face mask’s exterior side while wearing it.
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth, and nose while taking off the mask.
- Always wash your hands before wearing and removing the mask.
- When driving with other individuals, keep your mask on at all times and require that the person you’re with keep theirs on as well.
- Always keep extra face masks with you.
- Clean the inside part of your truck and make sure to disinfect the surfaces and frequently touched objects.
If you are planning to hire a trucking company for trailer pickup and deliveries, you must check out Trojan Horse Truck Services. You can check our rates and services by clicking this link here. If you want to contact us or if you have any inquiries about our services please fill up this contact form here.
Do you need to hire a trucking company? If you are searching for a company that offers trailer pickup and deliveries and trailer spotting services in Phoenix, Arizona, Trojan Horse Truck Services is worth checking out. Our founder Steve Romeo founded our company in 1985; he has more than 30 years of experience working in the trucking industry.
If you want to inquire about our services you can contact us by calling our phone number 602-332-0877, or write us an email at our email address [email protected] What are you waiting for? We are looking forward to hearing from you. Here at Trojan Horse Truck Services, we would love to help you with your trucking needs, so contact us today!