US truckers hard-pressed for facilities

Cain Adams at Trinity Logistics/Longboard Logistics in Meridian, ID, addressed the logistics component of the fresh industry.  He reported in on the last day of March, saying: “March was filled with orders and fast trucks. This week the cliff arrived. People are eating different, and it is showing.”

Cain continued: “New York and California are looking more like Florida when produce is not in season. Items enter, but nothing is coming back out.” And, Cain said, “We will start seeing this happen in other areas as Covid-19 increases in those areas. Shipments out of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Texas and Colorado have declined drastically. Receivers are full and have high rejection this week. In other words, know you have a place to go before you load a truck.”

From his vantage point, Cain said, “A few things we are seeing - first, drivers are not able to use shipper or receiver restrooms. We would ask shippers and receivers to have a porta-potty set up if at all possible. Drivers are having a hard time finding a place. Restaurants are closed so drivers try to search out grocery stores for a restroom and meals. Food trucks at truck stops sure would do well right now.”

Photo by Quintin Gellar - Pexels

There’s another aspect as well, he said. “Drivers normally stick to themselves, but this is making it even more lonely. I ask shippers or other brokers to give drivers a bit more phone time. Take their mind off this for a bit. Text them a joke now and then. We all need social interaction.”

Cain continued, “We are thinking affected areas will require a premium for drivers because less is coming out and there’s a higher chance of being affected themselves. ‘Hazard pay,’ if you will. Please keep this in mind when setting up freight.”

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