15 Jul AM Transport Appreciates Drivers All Year Long
“Nearly 71% of all the freight tonnage moved in the US goes on trucks. Without the industry and our truck drivers, the economy would come to a standstill.”~American Trucking Association
The Economy and Trucking
The recent jobs report (600,000 jobs a month since January) coupled with high vaccination rates and increased purchasing power of the average consumer due to the American Rescue plan indicates an economy not only on the rebound but much stronger than most experts would have predicted at the beginning of the pandemic early in 2020.
It’s good news, and no one out there deserves this good news more than America’s truck drivers. The pandemic had a compounding effect on trucking companies. From a surge in consumer demand during the early days of the pandemic to the weakening of freight volumes as stay-at-home orders rolled in and retailers and manufacturers shut down, truck drivers were on the frontline as upheaval wreaked havoc on lives, businesses, and the economy.
We do not often enough consider the lives of these committed men and women because they work in the shadows. But as reported by the American Trucking Associations, a whopping 71% of the goods moved in the United States (we’re talking food, toiletries, medicines, machinery, technology and tools) are transported by trucks and the folks who drive them.
Truck Drivers on the Front Line
Each year, we thank truck drivers during Truck Driver Appreciation Week and this year that’s September 12-18. Here at AM Transport, we applaud truck drivers and the essential role they’ve played these last two years in keeping goods flowing and our economy afloat. It’s not an exaggeration to say truck drivers risked their health and well-being during the pandemic to keep the supply chain in motion.
But the truth is truck drivers are always on the front line. That’s why it’s so important to recognize their efforts and their hard work. Truck drivers do not only deliver our goods with safety and integrity, they work diligently to keep our roads safe.
They drive trucks in all weather conditions from dangerous storms to extreme heat and/or cold. They drive trucks for long hours, are away from home for days or weeks at a time, sleep and rest in their trucks, and suffer from lack of physical exercise and healthy food.
What can shippers do to support drivers before, during, and post Truck Driver Appreciation week?
Here at AM Transport Services, we help the manufacturers and distributors we work with establish practices that ensure they are seen as shippers of choice. What can you do to be a shipper of choice?
- Pay quickly. Many trucking companies are small and quick pay helps them to keep their trucks on the road and their drivers well-paid.
- Provide flexibility and offer overnight parking. Offer a variety of pickup and delivery windows.
- Create accommodating waiting areas with clean bathrooms, available wireless technology, and vending machines with healthy foods.
- Keep drivers out of detention. Drivers are on tight schedules and can’t afford to wait. Nothing is going to make a driver more anxious or angry than having to wait.
- Pay detention. When you simply cannot avoid making a driver wait, pay detention costs upfront. Here at AM Transport, we always pay detention because it’s the right thing to do.
- Remember that relationships matter. Treat truck drivers like the everyday heroes they are. Simply put, be kind. Develop good relationships with both drivers and the carriers they work for.