On The Road with Loadsmart Episode 1: Hauling Freight Through the Pandemic

We’re in the business of connecting the logistics industry, but that doesn’t stop at connecting shippers with carriers. Today, we’re launching On the Road with Loadsmart, a platform to connect the industry to the stories that matter, inspire, and are essential for giving credit to the unsung heroes of the road we have the privilege to work with every day.

For our first episode, our Director of Marketing, Matt Fleming, had the opportunity to sit down with Joe Burks from American Citizens Transport to talk about their experience hauling freight throughout the pandemic. You can watch the entire episode here.

Challenges Prior To The COVID-19 Pandemic

Matt: What were the challenges that you guys had as a business prior to COVID basically changing everything and then I’d love to learn a little more about the specific challenges you had trying to basically operate while a pandemic is underway.

Joe: Before the pandemic, I guess everything was going well. We had actually planned on putting up our building in the spring this year. Of course we put that off because of this. But, you know, it’s a hustle every single day to find what you need. We were just doing what everyone else was doing, right? Now, when the pandemic came that changed a few things for certain. Now all of a sudden there’s ten trucks available for every load. And there’s a tremendous amount of – let’s just say the brokers took full advantage of that because of their lack of volume. I’m sure they had to make their ends meet. It substantially drove rates down and we struggled through it just like everyone else. We had to switch what we were running over to essentials. You know what? We’re getting through it.

New Sources of Freight And New Parters

Matt: As you’re trying to transition to new sources of freight, potentially, I’m just curious did you end up working with new partners or end up working more with existing?

Joe: Certainly. Like I said, we had to get away from a product that was contaminated. As you can see, taking paper to the paper mill, that is basically scrap paper that was our primary deal from several markets. You know what, so yeah, we had to get into essentials, we’re hauling quite a bit of water now and dry food products.

Struggle Together And We’ll Get Through This

Matt: Is there anything else that you feel I should have asked you about, but didn’t?

Joe: It might take a couple of more hours daily to meet your needs, make sure everybody is good. Of course, the fore load and the backload is more important now than ever just because of the way the rates have been driven down because of this. You can’t just go one way and come back empty no more. You won’t be in business long. But you know what all in all, just like everybody else, just do what we gotta to do and get through and struggle together and we’ll get through it together.

More Stories and More Episodes

You can watch the entire episode with Joe Burks, from American Citizens Transport here.

We look forward to learning more and sharing the stories of the people making sure we all have the things we need and the key to their perseverance during the pandemic. What’s next for their businesses and their thoughts on the on-going impact the pandemic will have on the market.

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