Big data is very important in staving off many crises. The COVID-19 pandemic is a great example of a crisis that is being addressed with big data. A growing number of countries and organizations are using big data to promote social distancing, enhance contact tracing and find new treatments.
Some occupations rely on big data for safety during this crisis more than others. These include freight operators.
With the COVID-19 pandemic in full effect, countless Americans have seen sweeping changes in their everyday lives. In the interest of protecting both themselves and others from infection, many people have limited the amount of time they spend away from home and adopted a variety of precautionary measures when out in the public. Furthermore, a large number of employers are allowing team members to work from home in an effort to keep them safe. However, not every member of the workforce is able to enjoy this convenience.
As essential workers, many freight operators are still expected to go about their usual routines, even as a highly-infectious virus sweeps the globe. Unsurprisingly, this can present a number of challenges for both operators and freighting companies. Companies looking to keep their operators out of harm’s way throughout these trying times can benefit from the following tips.
Big data has been used in the freight industry for a long time. A couple months before the pandemic erupted, I Think Logistics published an article titled How to Use Big Data in Freight Transportation? We have since discovered it is even more important in fighting the pandemic for people in this profession. Big data helps them ensure the safety of freight operators on their staff.
Invest in Reliable Supply Chain Management Solutions
It’s important to know where your drivers are at all times, particularly during a pandemic of this magnitude. Knowing the locations of all your operators ensures that you’ll be able to assist them at a moment’s notice and tell emergency personnel or medical workers where they are in the event of illness or injury. As such, safety-conscious are encouraged to invest in dependable automotive supply chain management solutions.
Provide Hand Sanitizer and PPE
There has never been a more important time to keep one’s hands clean. Since surface contact is among the ways the novel coronavirus is spread, it behooves safety-conscious companies to provide drivers with a steady supply of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Freight operators don’t always have access to running water, and given the current circumstances, it’s absolutely crucial for them to be able to cleanse their hands in a pinch. Although many doctors prefer traditional handwashing to sanitizing, the latter is an acceptable alternative if soap and water are unavailable. In addition to washing their hands on a consistent basis, operators should disinfect bags and packages that come from stores and restaurants.
Operators should also be provided with personal protective equipment, or “PPE” – particularly face-masks and gloves. It’s particularly important for them to don this equipment when interacting with people on the road. Furthermore, whenever possible, operators should remain at least six feet away from others.
Encourage Operators to Pack Their Own Meals
There’s no denying that dining out is more convenient than staying in. Not only do you get to leave the food prep to someone else, you also get to avoid the cleanup. However, dining out during the current pandemic represents a substantial risk. Even restaurants that adhere to social distancing guidelines can’t definitively curb the spread of COVID-19 within their walls. With this in mind, consider encouraging operators to pack their own meals for the foreseeable future. Since food prep is likely to eat into their free time and personal finances, provide drivers with additional funds to make packing their own meals more feasible.
If certain drivers absolutely insist on dining out, encourage them to stick to restaurants that offer drive-through or curbside pickup. The desire to dine at restaurants while on the road is perfectly understandable, but given how uncontrolled the spread of the novel coronavirus has been in the U.S., acting on this desire is fairly risky.
Discourage the Use of Cash
Even in the best of times, money is among the germ-laden things people regularly handle. To help your drivers reduce their risk of coming into contact with potentially infectious cash or coinage, encourage them to take advantage of digital forms of payment. This not only limits their contact with money, but with potential virus carriers as well.
The ongoing threat of COVID-19 has prompted many of us to reevaluate the way we go about our lives. In addition to having a profound impact on countless individuals, the novel coronavirus has spurred many industries to become extra vigilant about safety. While freighting may seem like a profession that involves very little person-to-person interaction, any seasoned operator can confirm that is far from the truth. Freight companies looking for ways to ensure the safety of operators and clients would be wise to heed the advice above.
Big Data is the Key to Fighting the Pandemic in the Freight Industry
The freight industry is struggling to overcome the growing number of challenges posed by COVID-19. Fortunately, big data is proving to be a useful technology. Freight companies will use it to their full advantage in the months to come.