Trade associations, trucking companies, and freight industry service providers are lining up to recognize and thank the nation’s 3.6 million professional truck drivers as part of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (NTDAW), September 12-18.
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) kicked off the week by pointing to its NTDAW resources page, which includes tools and resources organizations of all kinds can use to initiate or enhance driver appreciation events. Also, beginning Monday and lasting all week, ATA will host a raffle to thank professional drivers, randomly picking drivers to win #NTDAW21 merchandise. Drivers can enter the raffle via the ATA website. The association has also joined forces with state trucking associations and the group Trucking Moves America Forward to post billboards thanking truckers at locations across the country, the group said.
“I call on every American to join ATA and me in honoring our drivers,” ATA Chair Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, president and CEO of Garner Trucking in Findlay, Ohio, said in a statement Monday. “This year has a special meaning in recognizing these frontline heroes who have continued to deliver life’s essentials during the pandemic.”
A variety of in-person events are taking place nationwide, as well. Transportation and logistics provider Werner Enterprises is honoring its 10,000 drivers with celebrations at select terminals throughout its network all week. The company kicked off the celebrations, which include grab-and-go lunches and gifts, at its terminals in Fontana, Calif., and Phoenix last week.
“Our professional drivers are the heart of our company, and we know they have a choice in who they work for,” Werner’s Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Derek Leathers said in a statement. “At Werner, we take pride in showing appreciation for our drivers every day, and our respect extends out to all drivers within the industry. Their service and dedication to moving America’s goods is something we all rely on.”
Contract logistics provider DHL Supply Chain said it will recognize its 1,800 truck drivers with gifts and celebrations around the country as well, including raffles, giveaways, and cookouts.
“If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it is that our dedicated truck drivers are critically essential to ensuring we’re able to deliver exceptional outcomes for our customers,” Jim Monkmeyer, president, transportation, DHL Supply Chain, said in a statement. “Our drivers prove day-in and day-out their commitment to going the extra mile. Each is essential and we’re grateful for the opportunity to highlight their contributions to our customers’ business and celebrate them.”
Freight marketplace Truckstop.com is joining with nationwide truck stop operator Roady’s to host “Rockstars of the Road” appreciation events.
Truckstop.com will host appreciation booths at three Roady’s truck stop locations—in Jerome, Idaho, September 13; Baker City, Oregon, September 15; and Kenosha, Wis., September 17. Each location will have a photo booth with a backdrop designed to make truckers look like rockstars, “because they truly are rockstars of the road,” according to both companies.
Truckstop.com made the announcement in conjunction with the release of research about the “joys and challenges” of the trucking profession, in which they asked drivers about what attracted them to the industry, the hardships they face, and their concerns during the pandemic. Ninety-six percent of the 500 drivers surveyed said they feel their job is appreciated, and 56% said they feel proud to deliver essential goods to fellow Americans. Nearly three-quarters said they enjoy being in a profession that allows them to be “on the open road and explore the country” while 25% listed the greatest professional hardship as being on the road for long hours and/or days at a time. Just over half of respondents (51%) said they are concerned about bringing the Covid-19 virus home to their families as a result of their work, according to the survey.
Victoria Kickham, an editor at large for Supply Chain Quarterly, started her career as a newspaper reporter in the Boston area before moving into B2B journalism. She has covered manufacturing, distribution and supply chain issues for a variety of publications in the industrial and electronics sectors, and now writes about everything from forklift batteries to omnichannel business trends for Supply Chain Quarterly's sister publication, DC Velocity.