Article written by Connor D. Wolf
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From insurance to the digital freight marketplace to telematics, trucking companies are supported by business partners as they navigate the coronavirus outbreak.
Hub International Ltd., an insurance brokerage firm that represents fleets, relays critical information aimed at keeping drivers safe.
“We have been providing education to our clients,” Steve Bojan, Hub International’s vice president of fleet risk services, told Transport Topics. “We have created a COVID-19 resource center for all of our clients. We’ve had a couple of webinars on the subject. We have put out materials that included a risk bulletin on driver safety.”
Bojan added that he has seen trucking companies distribute those materials out to their drivers and staff in the form of posted bulletins and emails. Another aspect they are trying to tackle, he noted, is how to stay better connected with drivers who are on the road.
“The biggest thing is this creation of awareness at the tactical level so that drivers have a better idea of what to do,” Bojan said. “They’re kind of isolated, and one of the other things we’re beginning to talk about right now is how do we stay in better contact with drivers.”
Truckstop.com is offering free and premium services to trucking companies and freight brokerages through April. The digital freight marketplace also is offering additional free and discount services through various partnerships that total more than $10 million.
“Like everyone else, we’ve seen and felt that this is an unprecedented time in our life and certainly in the industry,” Truckstop.com Chief Commercial Officer Bill Vitti told TT. “We also felt compelled to do something because we know that the owner-operators and drivers are putting themselves in harm’s way, and they’re literally driving to the front line.”
Truckstop.com said the first 10,000 noncustomer carriers and brokers to sign up for its premium service will receive one free month. Current customers will receive a free month subscription to the freight market analytics and forecast tool FreightWaves SONAR.
“Same with FTR Transportation Intelligence,” Vitti said. “They offered two months free of their subscription, which looks at the pulse of the industry, both rates and forecasting. ATBS [a tax and accounting firm that services owner-operators] has offered payroll protection and loan-application services for small businesses. You can think about the demand for that today from a broker and carrier perspective.”
Instructional Technologies Inc. provides training solutions for the transportation industry. The company is offering a free course for drivers on COVID-19 safety.
“Hauling critical supplies across North America every day, professional truck drivers are on the front lines of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. James Voorhees, CEO of ITI, said in a statement.
SmartDrive Systems Inc., which develops a video-based safety program and transportation intelligence platform, aims to recognize the achievements of drivers, dispatchers and fleet managers. The Everyday Heroes in Transportation program was launched to acknowledge those who are going above and beyond.
“During these trying and unprecedented times, professionals across industries are stepping up,” SmartDrive CEO Steve Mitgang told TT. “As a small token of our continued appreciation for truck drivers, SmartDrive is recognizing the valiant efforts and sacrifices made through our Everyday Heroes in Transportation program.”
Fleets may nominate employees who meet that criteria. Nominees will be entered to win a $100 gift card each week. Those chosen also will be featured on SmartDrive’s social media channels.
“It’s great to read each of them and see that the commonality between all was drivers’ selflessness and attitude toward getting the job done,” Mitgang said. “Even with deliveries outside their normal routes to COVID-19 hotspots or potential exposure to the virus, we are seeing [and reading] about how drivers are taking every extra precaution to stay healthy while delivering these vital goods.”