Since the end of March, the UK government has encouraged the country to stay indoors and only leave for essential or unavoidable reasons. Such as buying food, toiletries, and medicine, taking the agreed amount of exercise, or working if you are an essential worker.
If you are classified as an essential worker, it means your job role is critical to keep services running. These could be roles such as, NHS staff, main utilities engineers, government workers, and delivery drivers.
Only now, months later is the full impact of the Covid-19 outbreak being realised, and it has highlighted the vital importance of logistics and haulage across the country to keep services and residents supplied with necessities during the testing times we find ourselves in. Not only do these drivers represent the very real need for movement of goods across the country they have in most cases been the only human contact with a company that many consumers have, the attitude, diligence and service they provide has been imperative to thousands of customers and their employers.
Keeping the country moving
Haulage and delivery drivers are recognised as essential workers, this also includes transport workers in air, water, road, rail, and freight.
The haulage, logistics, travel and delivery sector have become our knights in shining armour through this pandemic. Whether providing large scale logistical assistance and machinery movers, like supplying equipment and provisions to the seven Nightingale Hospitals set up to pre-empt any overwhelmed NHS hospitals, the need for extra delivery drivers with supermarket chains all over the UK as people were sent into lockdown and the inaccessibility of many day to day products for the general public meant a greater reliance on online shopping, or the maintaining of essential public transportation routes.
These drivers have made it increasingly clear quite how essential they are to sustaining the country, and world at large, through this pandemic. This isn’t isolated to the UK either, the same realisation is happening all over the world. The global trade networks ground to a halt in the initial wave of infections and lockdowns, the public responded with alarm and dismay that the system could so quickly halt movement of goods.
One County Durham haulage and freight company, Transport & Warehouse Solutions, pivoted their whole business and joined forces with local logistic companies, to deliver medical supplies and food products to distribution centres throughout the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A human connection
When the UK government asked its people to stay home, stay safe, many didn’t realise this would result in almost complete isolation, if you were part of an at risk category it could mean shielding from contact with others for 12 weeks at a time.
All of a sudden, your friendly delivery driver, or post person was your only face to face contact (from a sensible two meter distance) whilst interacting with a customer was always an integral element of the job, now it held so much more weight. A good driver has the communication and customer care skills to maintain a professional and friendly manner in their day to day role, but now these unsung heroes were acting a human connection for those most in need. Sometimes just by offering a cheery wave hello.
Haulage and logistical drivers (and their employers) had been dealing with a mostly b2b environment, transporting goods or freight cross county, now the impact on a social level was all too apparent to many. With shortages, and restrictions being put in place due to panic buying and the lockdown order a fresh crop of employees were recruited and the importance of what drivers do is now fully respected and recognised.