Truckers busier than ever to keep shelves stocked amid COVID-19 pandemic

The trucking industry is now an essential part of the supply chain to make sure grocery store shelves remain stock and other needed products get delivered during the pandemic.

While fewer people are commuting to work during the pandemic, the highway is still full of trucks hauling loads of food, medicine and other essentials.

"We are the lifeblood of the American economy," said Jake Berent with Teamsters Join Council 25. "Anything that gets shipped, we likely have a hand in."

Krzysztof Bielecki with LIV trucking tracks his company's trucks all over the country as they haul loads from Chicago to California, and back.

Drivers are working long days to keep up with the increased demand, even as they worry about their own exposure to COVID-19.

Whether its medical supplies, like nitrogen and oxygen to hospitals, or packages delivered by UPS while people are sheltered in place, Teamsters Union leaders said the thousands of drivers here right now are in greater demand than ever.

The shelter in place rules in some states, including Illinois beginning Saturday, add to the logistical problems for some drivers. In some cases no one is there to unload the truck after their cross country trip.

While the crisis has left some people at least temporarily out of work, it's just the opposite in the trucking industry. Right now they are hiring.
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