COVID-19: Trucking companies keep supply lines moving during outbreak

a truck is parked on the street: Imagine what it must be like running an Alberta-based trucking company in 2019. Talk about a perfect storm. (C) John Lucas Imagine what it must be like running an Alberta-based trucking company in 2019.

Talk about a perfect storm.

Alberta's trucking companies are maintaining a business-as-usual attitude during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Drivers and the industry have taken a hit since the Humboldt bus crash, but we're moving groceries and medical supplies and consider ourselves frontline workers, keeping shelves stocked and making sure people have the supplies they need," said Gary Leddy, vice-president and general manager of Grimshaw Trucking. The company serves more than 300 communities across Western Canada, employing more than 300 drivers, mechanics, administrative and warehouse staff to maintain supplies.

"We have drivers working a 6 a.m.-to-6 p.m. shift, then the next group comes on for a 6 p.m.-to-6 a.m. to ensure that supply lines keep moving," said Leddy. "Things are changing hour by hour during the virus outbreak, and we're keeping up with the demand and making sure that people are staying positive through this." Truck drivers have been granted an exemption from the 14-day quarantine required for those crossing the border from the United States, a move that helps keep drivers on the roads. But aside from keeping goods moving across Alberta roadways, Grimshaw is helping to ensure public safety through preventative measures.

"We've given computers to employees who can work from home, and taken safety precautions including gloves and cleanliness measures to look out for health and well-being," said Leddy. "I like to call it physical distancing rather than social distancing, because that social aspect is very important during this time." Rosenau Transport manages 28 terminal locations spread across four provinces. The demand has increased in recent days due to a surge in shopping and service needs, and the company is keeping up with the pace of business.

"Our trucks are moving to meet the needs of people across a variety of industries," said Ken Rosenau, president of Rosenau Transport. "We're concerned about the economic impact out there, with closures and business affected by the virus, but we're doing all we can to make sure people have everything they need." Attending to shipping services, logistics and supply-chain support has grown increasingly difficult in recent days, with more challenges on the horizon, although Rosenau is taking things in stride. "We're maintaining business as usual; we're proud of our drivers who regularly go above and beyond, and the response to this is no different."

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References

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