Updated: Apr 4, 2020
Law enforcement, medical professionals and educators are typically considered to be essential personnel in our communities. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, truck drivers have rightfully joined the ranks as essential personnel. As Americans swept store shelves of food, bleach, medicine and personal care products, the ability of the supply chain to replenish basic necessities was critical. What became apparent is that the inventory and delivery processes, that functioned like clockwork, were so seamless that they were not noticed and therefore underappreciated.
While Americans are stocking up on bottled water and toilet paper, drivers are on the front lines and have been moved into the essential personnel category so that we can all eat fresh food and purchase the goods we need for a shelter-in-place order. But how do drivers keep themselves safe in this environment? One might believe in our current tech environment that they operate in an automated way with little person-to-person interaction and are sheltered in the safety of their cab. Truth be told, 97% of operating fleets in the US have 30 or fewer trucks. These fleets, that are providing essential resources to our communities, operate with paper-heavy, manual processes. The processes require the driver to have personal encounters with dispatchers, suppliers and receiving customers in order for manual paperwork to be verified, approved and signed. In light of a pandemic, all of these human touch-points put essential personnel at risk.
Although as individuals we acknowledge the need for reliable delivery, the pandemic has affected the support drivers receive. For example, some states are closing truck stops and certain restaurants are not willing to serve curb-side to drivers. Also, restrictions that are in place for the safety of the drivers such as, hours of service requirements and other Department of Transportation compliance measures were lifted overnight to ensure deliveries were made timely. The signals are mixed between appreciating the service provided as we fill our shopping carts with the message of removing safety precautions for essential personnel. One must wonder, with inefficient tech, paper-driven processes and mixed messaging, if these factors contribute to the nation-wide driver shortage.
We are proud of drivers who are stepping up to the plate to take care of our communities during this time of need. You are providing critical supplies when we need them the most. Thank you for your service. If you know a driver, please make sure to thank them for all they are risking to keep store shelves stocked and toilet paper dispensers full.
driverDOC was imagined to challenge the inefficiencies of the logistics supply chain through the creation of a better driver experience and integrated data flow. We believe drivers are the greatest, yet most underutilized, asset in simplifying the supply chain's back office. The driverDOC SaaS solution arms drivers with a simple, low-touch, workflow-assisted application. In less than five minutes, we enable drivers to provide real-time shipment visibility and other critical data to the entire supply chain. The best part is that it was developed with the driver experience and safety in mind. Drivers, and all Americans on our highways, are safer due to the decrease in phone, email and text communication to drivers. Also, our drivers' health is protected by reducing human interaction in unprecedented times like these.
driverDOC is an Omaha, NE based startup that seeks to enable the supply chain ecosystem through capturing driver data in real-time. For more information or to discuss investment opportunities, please visit us at driverDOC.io or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.