News roundup, March 27: Truckers with critical supplies allowed to enter and deliver in NYC; J.B. Hunt drivers get coronavirus bonus

Updated Mar 30, 2020

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, March 27, 2020:

CDC: Truckers with food, critical supplies can enter NYC
Though New York City, which has seen a severe outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus cases over the past week, has issued mandatory quarantine orders for residents, the Centers for Disease Control says truckers delivering supplies and food are allowed to enter the city and make deliveries. CDC says these shipments are “desperately needed for New York residents to continue their daily lives and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

CDC recommends that drivers entering the city to make deliveries stay in their vehicles as  much as possible while supplies are loaded or unloaded and to avoid being within 6 feet of others as they exit their vehicles. Likewise, they advise moving to electronic paperwork where possible.

“If these drivers need to spend the night in the greater New York City area, they should stay in their hotel rooms or sleeper cab, when available, to the extent possible and continue to practice social distancing,” CDC said in a press release. “Drivers who take these precautions should not need to self-quarantine when they leave the greater New York area, unless self-quarantine is recommended by state or local officials for all residents in the areas where they live.”

Here’s the remainder of CDC’s recommendations:

Truck drivers and other workers who obtain or deliver needed supplies who live in the greater New York area may continue to work both within and outside of the greater New York area but should stay at home and practice social distancing according to instructions of state and local officials when they are not working.

We continue to recommend that all people take precautions to stay safe and keep others safe, including washing their hands regularly, staying home when sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and maintaining distance from others.

It remains our guidance that residents who were recently in the affected areas of New York… should self-quarantine for 14 days.

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I-10 closure set for this weekend near Phoenix
Arizona DOT crews will close westbound I-10 between 43rd and 67th avenues for lane striping from 1 a.m. Saturday, March 28, through 5 a.m. Monday, March 30.

ADOT recommends drivers exit I-10 before reaching I-17 and following either Van Buren Street or McDowell Road to 67th Avenue or beyond to re-enter I-10. Drivers can also consider taking I-8 at Casa Grande to State Route 85, then traveling north to I-10 at Buckeye.

Yokohama suspends tire production
Tire manufacturer Yokohama announced it is suspending production at its plant in West Point, Mississippi, as of March 28, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The suspension is expected to last two weeks, the company says.

The plant’s shipping department will continue normal operations during the shutdown in order to continue service to customers.

“Yokohama’s supply position remains strong, but the company will work closely with dealers to mitigate any unexpected disruptions,” the company said in a statement.

J.B. Hunt drivers to receive bonuses during coronavirus pandemic
J.B. Hunt announced it will give its drivers and driver-support personnel one-time $500 bonuses for keeping freight moving during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bonus will be available to eligible employee drivers, as well as field employees and managers in terminals, intermodal ramps, maintenance shops, dedicated contract service account locations and final mile distribution centers who directly support drivers. The bonus will be paid on March 27.

Trucker Tools launches new COVID resource section in app
The impact of COVID-19 has cut staffing levels and reduced hours at loading and receiving docks, creating additional challenges for truckers’ scheduling, and transit times. “It’s a difficult time for everyone,” said Trucker Tools’ Prasad Gollapalli, “from health care workers on the front lines, to brokers working from home arranging shipment of urgent goods, and truckers trying to make pickups or deliveries where access to shipper locations is changing daily.”

The help, the company today announce it was doing two thing:

  • Waiving overage fees for users of its freight tracking service to provide unlimited use of its platform for 60 days.
  • Now in the Trucker Tools app for owner-operators and drivers, a new “COVID-19” section is serving as clearinghouse detailing key information, support resources, operational tips to help truckers manage during crisis. The new section includes information about brokers, shippers and other businesses offering specific resources and aid to truck drivers: restaurants providing take-out services for truckers, for instance, additional parking locations, nearby hospitals and medical offices, and retail locations where drivers are welcomed to buy groceries and supplies. The information also is available at this link to the Trucker Tools website and will be continually updated.

Three brokerages/3PLs provided these summaries of a few things they’re doing: BNSF Logistics suspended its quick-pay processing fees through April 30 for all qualified carriers currently enrolled in the program. For more information email [email protected]. Kingsgate Logistics waived all payment processing and EFS check fees for carriers, reducing carrier expense and speeding up reimbursements for accessorial charges, expanded use of “Book it Now” automation, and increased staffing for Live Chat. Choptank Transport is providing hot meals for truckers making pickups and deliveries at their facilities, with designated sanitized rest areas and bathrooms, and gift bags with hand sanitizer and wipes, water, soft drinks, snacks, a safety vest and other personal care and protective gear.

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