March 26, 2021 10:15 AM, EDT

Carriers Provide Resources to Help Drivers Get Vaccinated

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Trucking companies are taking steps to help ensure their drivers, and support staff, can get the coronavirus vaccine in a bid to minimize workplace disruptions.

Drivers have benefited from on-site clinics, paid time off, special websites and other media platforms.

Prime Inc. has a clinic in its main terminal in Springfield, Mo., that has vaccines available.

“We’re trying to utilize every resource available,” Jim Guthrie, director of operations at Prime, told Transport Topics.

Guthrie added that the company also is seeking more options since drivers are often away from the main terminal, including partnering with local pharmacies near other terminals.

“In this industry, you obviously want to minimize the amount of downtime,” he said.

Prime Inc. ranks No. 17 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.

At UPS Inc., employees receive compensation packages that include paid time off and medical benefits that include vaccinations, spokesman Matthew O’Connor said.

UPS ranks No. 1 on the TT 100.

Werner Enterprises has been working to ensure its workers are informed about the vaccine. It created a website for its associates to access information from each state about the vaccine.

“The company is seeking out opportunities where we can provide easy access to vaccine clinics, whether it be on-site or close to one of our network locations,” said Stefanie Christensen, vice president of human resources at the company.

Werner ranks No. 16 on the TT Top 100.

Cargo Transporters is working directly with the Catawba Valley Health System in North Carolina to get drivers vaccinated.

“The drivers will call into human resources,” Kristy Hedrick, vice president of human resources at Cargo Transporters, told TT. “Human resources then gets them an appointment.”

The company also schedules drivers’ second appointments, usually four weeks after the first vaccination and at the same location, which Hedrick said ensures coordination with their fleet leader.

Melton Truck Lines is in the beginning stages of acquiring the vaccines so that its drivers can be vaccinated in its terminal, among several different locations.

“We partner with CareATC and have a clinic on-site at our main terminal in Tulsa,” said Lisa Mason, vice president of human resources and safety at the company.

Melton Truck Lines ranks No. 87 on the TT 100 list of the largest U.S. for-hire carriers.

U.S. Xpress Enterprises hosted a town hall with a physician to answer any questions about the vaccine.

“We’re using regular touch-points like town halls, newsletters and even social media content to communicate key information,” Amanda Thompson, chief people officer, told TT.

U.S. Xpress ranks No. 24 on the TT 100.

FedEx Corp. is looking forward to its workers taking advantage of states’ expanding eligibility.

“We strongly encourage all team members to take advantage of vaccination opportunities as they become available, and are actively working to ensure team members are aware of opportunities,” a spokesperson said.

FedEx ranks No. 2 on the TT 100.

Yellow Corp. chose to work directly with retail pharmacy providers in an attempt to facilitate on-site vaccinations in states where eligibility and supplies are readily available.

“Yellow is providing all employees with essential services documentation to assist them with getting prioritization of the vaccination,” Yellow spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

Ryder System Inc. announced it is providing six hours of paid time off for employees to get the vaccine. The truck leasing and rental company said close to 700 employees have taken advantage of the offer as of March 23.

“Our employees have been very receptive to it,” Frank Lopez, chief human resources officer for Ryder System, told TT. “I think they welcomed it and they appreciated that we were doing what we can do to ensure that they have the ability to take the vaccine.”

Ryder Supply Chain Solutions ranks No. 10 on the TT 100.

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