Truckers Restock Stores Faster As Coronavirus Keeps Traffic Light–And Truckstop Showers In Short Supply


Alan Ohnsman, Forbes

Mar 24, 2020


Trucking companies are making heroic efforts to keep store shelves stocked with toilet paper, food and cleaning supplies that have run low amid panic-buying spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, a task made easier by lighter-usual-highway traffic. On the downside, the availability of showers and sanitizing products for drivers at truckstops is a problem.


“We are definitely seeing transit time starting to improve and drivers are commenting on that and that’s encouraging,” Derek Leathers, president and CEO of Omaha-based trucking company Werner Enterprises, tells Forbes. “We really need people to stay off the roads if we want to get the supply chain to continue to operate more efficiently and get more stuff to stores more quickly.”


Werner, with about 9,500 drivers hauling freight across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, is racing to keep up with spiking demand for “paper products, sanitation products, hand sanitizers and basic household goods,” Leathers says. Shipments of products such as apparel have plunged, “but food and beverage is booming. In total, we're more in demand at the moment and just trying to work through it and get things to market as quickly and safely as we can.”


Trucking giant J.B. Hunt Transport said Monday it’s providing a one-time $500 bonus for its drivers and personnel at field operations and customer facilities in recognition of how hard they’re working right now. “All of our employees have gone above and beyond the call to action during this crisis,” said John Roberts, president and CEO of J.B. Hunt...