A curious phenomenon has been unfolding ever since the pandemic started floating around.
The problem seemed especially challenging: people needed their essentials (food, clothing, fuel, etc.), and yet experts cautioned us that one of the best ways to stay safe was to keep our distance from one another.
So, if the majority of those essentials are delivered via truck from, say, manufacturer to warehouse to end user, then how do our truck drivers keep their distance?
In the driver’s seat, carriers are able to maintain that whole social distancing angle quite easily; they’ve been doing it forever. What of the the points of contact, though ⏤ the actual on-loading and off-loading of goods, the handover of paperwork, the gas station, the truck stop restaurant?
Matthew Meeks, Marketing Manager at Transflo, has a great piece in 3PLPerspectives. He writes:
“With new technology, freight professionals become safer, more compliant, and more efficient than their pre-pandemic days. By embracing digital solutions, freight professionals regain revenue, eliminate paper and inefficient processes, and become more environmentally friendly.”
Technology takes a number of forms in this regard. Our love/hate relationship with the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate, which began well before the pandemic, has also resulted in less actual paper use and less actual contact.
Innovations like Love’s Connect App are designed to minimize contact: activating the pump from your cab, reserving a shower. Matthew Meeks writes that “businesses implementing new technology have started noticing things like increases in productivity and efficiency.”
Some of that technology is “old school.” Contacting carrier and dispatch and customer by phone or email. At NATCO, we’ve always maintained that proactive communication is one of the keystones to everyone’s success. This includes, say, assuring the wrecker arrives at the appointed time to off-load the equipment from the flatbed.
Emphasis here on “appointed.” Why is that essential? If he or she is on time, then there’s less waiting around. Which drains fuel, adds to the bill, and tests everyone’s patience.
Team NATCO embraces the best of new technology. We know those benefits. At the same time, we’ve long heartily endorsed maybe the most important tool in our industry’s arsenal: the conversation.