This month we decided to take a look at how fleets have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. We think it’s safe to say the trucking industry has never experienced anything quite as disruptive as COVID-19. Yet, through it all, fleets have certainly learned some new lessons and many have become stronger and more resilient because of it. Let’s take a look at some of these lessons learned:
Technology and Productivity
Many carriers have allowed part of their staff to work from home in an effort to maintain social distance protocols. However, in doing so, they have quickly realized that the industry -- including themselves -- still relies too heavily on paperwork and laborious, multi-step processes that can be so easily streamlined with technology. As a result, many management teams are now looking into secure document digitization and cloud-based storage solutions to help their teams operate more efficiently.
Freight tracking technologies, factoring solutions, and other types of logistics software have also been adopted to help fleets keep track of loads, monitor on-the-road driver performance, and provide more visibility into a fleet’s operations.
Employee Engagement and Productivity
The challenges associated with managing remote workforces has prompted many managers to look for solutions that not only ensure consistent communication among teams, but also help maintain productivity levels. There is a whole host of communication and project management software available on the market to help employees and teams stay connected and focused.
Some carriers have even gone a step further by looking into the different ways it can help increase employee engagement and support camaraderie while still maintaining social distance. Several innovative companies have encouraged virtual lunch dates and coffee dates among staff members through the use of video conferencing software. Loneliness during the pandemic is a very real thing as we all do our best to social distance and keep one another safe. Employers that keep a positive outlook on the situation and encourage employees to take action and do the same are in a much better position to keep employee morale and productivity high.
Maintaining Strong Relationships with Drivers
Virtual onboarding and training instead of in-class sessions, providing an ample supply of masks and gloves, supplying hand sanitizer, providing extra support to the families of drivers who contract the virus while on the job, putting protocols and technology in place to assist with contactless deliveries. These are just some of the different ways fleets can help support drivers and their families.
It’s important that fleets let their drivers know that they appreciate them and the work they do while on the road. Ongoing communication with drivers as well as providing additional training on how they can protect themselves during the pandemic, such as what to do when they have to buy food, fuel their vehicle, disinfect their truck, and the like, is so important during these uncertain times. Checking in with drivers before, during, and after delivering or picking up a load is also a great idea. A simple email or a call to ensure they feel safe and that all is well can go a long way in making drivers feel appreciated and less alone.
Be sure to check out our blog for more trucking industry news and updates from the team at Thunder Funding!