3PL & REFRIGERATED LOGISTICS
Dave Cox president, Polaris Transportation Group
Fortunately, trade continues to flow despite the economies of the rest of the world.
Goods being moved by truck could very well be the best way to go in an emergency like this, but that doesn’t mean companies shouldn’t be diligent about adapting to present realities.
FOOD LOGISTICS | APRIL 2020
This also included minimizing the amount of paper ﬂow at the head ofﬁce by having drivers scan their pick-up and delivery documents directly into the system. As for goods being moved, for a company like Polaris, we only ship palletized freight, which means movement of the skid is on a forklift and transferred on or off to a trailer. This is crucial to ensure that everything employees touch is palletized. This way employees aren’t actually touching anything. There is no physical hands-on interaction. Communication is also essential, so it’s a good idea to create a pandemic planning team with company executives and directors who take part in a regular conference call. At Polaris, it’s called a “daily pandemic call,” and includes
HOW THE TRUCKING I NDU
COVID members of the management team, including the chief ﬁnancial ofﬁcer, chief operations ofﬁcer, chief technology ofﬁcer, chief human resources ofﬁcer and others responsible for IT, customer care, safety and marketing. Human resources plays a large
Polaris Transportation Group
n mid-March, the Canada-U.S. border closed to all non-essential travel as both countries took measures to try and stem the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This border is not only the longest land border in the world, but is also essential, as Canada and the United States are each other’s major trading partners. Indeed, some $2.7 billion in goods and services cross that border every day, and any glitch would present huge repercussions in the supply chain for the food and beverage industry, not to mention the supply chains of other industries. Fortunately, trade continues to ﬂow despite the current economies of both countries, not to mention the rest of the world. But, so far there’s not been a signiﬁcant dip or notable change in the volume of trafﬁc and goods being carried by those trucks moving across the border. Goods being moved by truck could very well be the best way to go in an emergency like this, but that doesn’t mean companies shouldn’t be diligent about adapting to present realities. Here’s an outline of steps the trucking industry can take to combat the COVID-19 crisis and adapt to the “New Normal.” For starters, while one could argue truck drivers readily adapt to the concept of self-isolation since they are alone in the cab, the fact is, those drivers and the goods they carry are still not immune to the virus. For companies where the vast majority of employees were not already working remotely, it’s important to implement social distancing. Here at Polaris Transportation Group, Canda, this meant eliminating the morning coffee that drivers pick up at the customs ofﬁce.
4/7/20 7:45 AM
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