the coronavirus spreads, shippers are implementing new procedures for truck
drivers making deliveries and arriving for pickups.
Numerous shippers contacted for
this story either declined to comment on their current practices or did not
respond, but social media has been abuzz in recent days with stories from
drivers detailing their experiences.
Some drivers have stated that
shippers are asking them to sign documents declaring their past international
“I picked up a preloaded trailer
yesterday. Had to sign a sheet that said I haven’t been to China and some other
countries or haven’t knowingly been in contact with anyone who had been,” wrote
Nestle has reportedly provided a
document for drivers to sign. It states, “if you, or anyone with whom you’ve
had direct contact or someone in your household, have travelled to any of the
regions below in the past 14 days, please inform our security team.” It then
lists the Greater China region, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Italy and Iran.
Social media users noted General Motors and Americold as other shippers asking basic health questions or asking drivers to sign documents related to recent travel and health.
Nestle, General Motors, and Americold have not responded to requests from FreightWaves on their current policies.
“We received quite a few messages
today from shippers that they will be checking with drivers on their recent
travel and health. I am guessing this will be the new norm for a while,” wrote
Over the weekend, one carrier owner
said one of his drivers was told paperwork would be placed at a table outside
the facility and he could sign it there and return to his truck. He was not
allowed inside the building.
Carriers are also responding to the
conditions. UPS (NYSE: UPS) Senior
Manager of Public Relations Matthew O’Connor said he could not disclose
conversations the company has had with customers, but UPS is reminding
employees about proper hygiene and what they should do if they exhibit any
“This includes instituting hygiene
protocols that are in line with suggested U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention measures. If any employee experiences symptoms such as fever or
respiratory infection, they are required to seek medical treatment
immediately,” O’Connor told FreightWaves. “This is a fluid situation, and our
primary concern is for the safety of our employees and the people in the
Like UPS, FedEx (NYSE: FDX) declined
to speak for shipper practices, and it too is advising and educating employees
on best practices to minimize risk.
“The safety and well-being of our
team members and customers is our top priority,” Bonny Harrison, spokesperson
for FedEx, said in an emailed statement. “We are closely monitoring guidance by
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization
and other public health organizations, and taking recommended precautions in
terms of pilot, team member and customer health and safety.”
Harrison said FedEx team members
are being advised to take any signs of illness seriously and seek medical
attention as needed. It is also working to ensure the workplace remains clean,
A statement from an Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) spokesperson said the company is concerned about the health of
its employees and contractors.
“Our top priority is protecting
people’s health and we are actively supporting employees and contractors on an
individual, case-by-case basis. We will continue evaluating next steps should
we see a much broader impact,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement to
Amazon went on to say it continues
to work with both public and private medical experts to ensure proper
precautions are taken. It has also instituted a series of preventive health
measures for employees, delivery and transportation partners that include
frequent and intense cleaning at all sites, requiring employees to sanitize and
clean work stations and vehicles with disinfectant/cleaning wipes at both the
start and end of every shift, and staying home and seeking medical attention if
they feel sick.