I’d like to take a moment to thank our valued customers, carriers, and business partners during this most challenging time, and reassure you of our ongoing operations.
Business preparedness and business continuity is our business. Since our founding nearly 60 years ago, we have never closed our offices for any reason. From natural disasters to national emergencies, we have always jumped in to support the relief efforts and ensure urgent supplies could be delivered to the communities in need.
We were there in 1979 supporting nuclear containment at Three Mile Island. We were at ground zero on September 11, 2001. We have supported the military and federal government for countless national emergencies — and we are here for you now. Today, we continue to maintain 100% of our operations while handling significantly more freight than normal, in the form of surge capacity, supporting our customers who are replenishing critically important food, medicine, and relief supplies.
We have never missed a beat or interrupted our service because we know how critically important our customers’ shipments are. Our highest priority as a business is, and has always been, to be there to support these requirements while also ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our team.
The health of our staff is critical and comes first in every equation.
We have been exercising our pre-existing business continuity plan, with a 100% work from home preparedness drill at our headquarters, to ensure that we can provide for the longer term safety and wellbeing of our team and reduce the spread of the disease. Our entire headquarters has been cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected to the level of hospitals and surgical centers. This cleaning repeats daily for high-touch areas, with full weekly cleanings. At the conclusion of our 100% work from home drill, our office will remain open throughout this crisis for essential personnel. In the event authorities confine even essential business employees to their homes, we are fully prepared. Every single staff member, from college intern to chief executive, has access to the same tools and resources they use in the office, in order to ensure a seamless transition to remote work.
We feel fortunate to have wonderful business partners and carrier friends.
The health and business continuity plans of our motor carriers and business partners is also top of mind. We are staying in close contact with our carriers, their management and staff, and their drivers, as well as our technology business partners and have been pleased with their preparedness and levels of support.
Being in this business, we are always thankful for the warehouse and distribution center workers, and, of course, truck drivers. They’re interacting with people, in and out of public facilities, exchanging money, and eating on the road. They can’t work from home. Throughout our six decades, we have been continually touched by the everyday heroism and fortitude of the American truck driver. Please share your appreciation and keep them in mind during this challenging time.
We are continuously monitoring all regulatory and economic updates.
Through our leadership roles in many national trade associations, we are being briefed daily — and often multiple times per day — on changes in regulatory oversight, enforcement, and potential changes forthcoming. When changes occur, we are incorporating them into our business, and will inform you as needed.
At the moment, FMCSA has relaxed hours of service restrictions on food items that are replenishing grocery stores, and for a variety of supplies and equipment directly supporting the COVID-19 relief efforts. We have posted FMCSA guidance gleaned from a March 16, 2020 briefing here. With freight transportation long considered an “essential business,” you should expect freight transportation to continue. If we were to reach an exceptionally draconian future state, similar to martial law, some freight transportation may be restricted. Hopefully the steps we are taking today as a nation will prevent such a situation.
Don’t wait to schedule a truck.
The softness, or equilibrium, that occurred in late 2019 and early 2020 has stiffened again in response to COVID-19. That’s primarily due to replenishing the grocery hoarding and does not appear to be due to drivers staying home. In fact, we are seeing a lot of demand, plenty of supply, and an appetite for carriers to remain busy. Rates have strengthened in many markets.
When markets tighten, early notice is always essential to getting the capacity you need, when you need it. When the federal government, the National Guard, and FEMA begin to respond, relief supplies like food, water, medicine, bedding, temporary housing, testing kits, etc., will flood the market and the government will pay top dollar to get the trucks they need. This will drive up prices and shippers will lose capacity. Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule a truck. Do it now.
Should you need additional support or guidance as we navigate this pandemic, we are here for you. Tucker has been a stable source of support for our customers for decades, and we will continue to be through this newest, significant global challenge.
Thank you for your continued partnership. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to help or better serve you.
Jeff Tucker, CEO
Tucker Company Worldwide