Watch or read the transcript below for a special message from our CEO, Dave Jackson on Knight Transportation’s Response to COVID-19.
Fellow Teammates, I’m Dave Jackson, CEO of Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings, the parent company of our family of operating companies which include: Swift Transportation, Knight Transportation, Barr-Nunn, and Abilene Motor Express.
Although we operate each of our companies independently, we all have in common the current situation we face with COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus. I’d like to briefly outline how this is affecting our company, the critical role we play right now in the country, and some of what we’re doing to support you in this time. First and foremost, your safety and the safety of those in the communities we serve is our number one priority. We love this country and we are in a unique position to help in the much needed ways that no other is quite positioned to do.
Now, as to how this is affecting our company, we have seen freight pick up with an increase in demand for goods and essentials. We expect to see a further surge in freight in about 2 weeks as pent up imports begin to arrive at our ports. Our company is extremely strong financially. We’ve been conservative and have always prepared for a rainy day. We have more assets, access to more capital, and have stronger income cash flow than anyone we compete with in this industry.
Consider the critical nature of the services we provide. We bring supplies to those affected by the virus, to their families, and to the medical professionals treating those affected. Through uninterrupted deliveries we stabilize the fear and panic in the community as the supply chain for essential goods is not disrupted and store shelves remain stocked.
Also, we help maintain the economic backbone of the country, the supply chain. Supply routes are the lifelines of economies and communities. No link in the chain is more valuable than full truckloads moving in and out of every major city. No company is close to the size and reach of the 19,000 trucks and 58,000 trailers of the Knight-Swift family of companies. President Trump recently advised citizens to only buy a week’s worth of groceries because the shelves would remain stocked. He, and many others, have faith that we can pull that off.
Most businesses require in-person contact and many of these businesses are suspending operations in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. Our business is uniquely positioned such that if proper precautions are taken, our driving associates can maintain minimal contact with others and continue, as the nature of the job is to work remotely away from cubicles and offices. Many of our office employees have begun a rotation of working remotely already. Our specific actions by location will be determined by the level of spread and risk in those specific communities. We monitor and manage on a day-to-day basis, sometimes hour-by-hour, watching closely the number of confirmed cases per million people in a population. A task force of leaders has been established to evaluate changing risk by location, open communication lines, and do all that we can do to support driving associates in our operations.
We will soon announce a financial incentive for the irregular route Over the Road company drivers and independent contractors that stay productive at this time. We are also working with the White House to keep essential services available to driving associates at the truck stop networks. We’re working with our vendors to source food products to make them more accessible to our driving associates at our terminals. We hope for this to begin early next week in many locations.
Now, we are grateful for each one of you. We’re grateful for your commitment to us and for your commitment to the work that you do. We pray for you and your family. You will likely never receive the full credit that you deserve for the patriotic and valued service that you provide at this time to America. From the booking of loads, to hauling loads, to managing that loads get safely delivered throughout the country at this most critical time. But internally, we will always know the heroes that you really are. Your safety and well-being continue to be our number one priority.
America is counting on us. I’m honored to be associated with you. Let’s do this together.Dave Jackson, CEO, Knight Swift Transportation
As an essential business during a national crisis, Knight-Swift Transportation will remain open and we will work as a family to make sure that the job gets done.
A lot has changed recently, but one thing that hasn’t changed is that our number one priority is the safety of our employees. We thank our employees from the bottom of our hearts for the extra hours and hard work that you’ve been putting in to keep shelves stocked and keep our country running smoothly.