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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Trucking Companies Worried About Their Survival

By: Jag Dhatt

The headline isn’t something out of the ordinary, and more so than not; it’s probably expected. But still, it doesn’t lessen the pain of those company owners who are facing the hardships and effects of Covid-19.

The BC Trucking Association (BCTA) conducted a survey of its members to better gauge the effects of the pandemic and the results are dramatic and traumatic. It is safe to say that many of the BC trucking companies will not survive the 2019 Coronavirus pandemic, and this is irrelevant of the size of these companies. And those who will survive have seen revenue fall by over 30%.

While the loss of revenue is traumatic, the silver lining, no matter how minor, is that these companies can now qualify for more government aid.

Ken Johnson, GM of Ken Johnson Trucking said that the company hasn’t laid off any employees yet, an effort which he hopes he can retain. He did admit that many employees’ hours have been cut from full time to part time. “The more mature drivers are wanting to stay home and take vacations while the younger drivers don’t have that luxury because they have mortgages and other expenses,” says Johnson.

“It’s been traumatic for the industry,” said Dave Earle, President of the BCTA. “This type of impact on society is unprecedented in our lifetime. It’s something everyone will remember.”

Ron Dhaliwal, producer of Hello Trucking, an online television program that listens to the voices of the trucking industry across North America, shares similar sentiments. “Nobody expected Covid-19 to have this type of effect on a global scale,” says Dhaliwal. “Many company owners are worried they will not survive, and if they do, they will have lots of ground to make up.”

“Hello Trucking is taking many calls every day on the show to listen to the whims of drivers across North America,” continued Dhaliwal. “What we’ve found is that even though there is fear, there is also optimism in the industry because trucking needed to keep going during the pandemic.”

For those companies still operating, the BCTA is encouraging them to make protocols to include better training and the proper use of personal protective equipment.

Things are getting back to normal, slowly but surely. But during these slower times, the best thing to do is assess and re-assess your company to develop the best practices to survive the crisis.