Our Communities Affected By COVID-19

For the last 17 years, Jeff Shefchik, president at Paper Transport, Inc. (PTI), has always known the products PTI delivers is important to people. Recently, some of those products (such as Toilet Paper) have become really important. A 30-year old dry van carrier hauling consumer products including toilet paper, packaging, soap, and consumables, PTI has been busy over the last couple of weeks and things are changing fast.

On the evening of Friday, March 6, 2020, Jeff arrived home from work to catch the news, which was fixed on the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. The following Friday (March 13), Jeff watched the news coverage that Governor of Wisconsin Tony Evers had closed all of the schools. Last Friday (March 27), Jeff went home and while the news story was still covering the COVID-19, it had changed to reflect another blow to our communities.

This new story was about unemployment lines. This bothered Jeff – it bothered him so much that he thought about it all night. On Saturday morning, he reached out his other partners. By that afternoon, the ownership team at PTI had made the decision to donate half of PTI’s profits during the month of April to charities who are helping people affected by the COVID-19 in the communities in which PTI has terminal locations.

“We know if we have a great month that contribution could be several hundred thousand dollars,” stated Jeff in a video announcement to the PTI team on Tuesday (March 24th). “We also know if that at some point, our business is going to slow down and it’s possible we won’t make any money during the month of April. No matter what: That minimum contribution will be $100,000 and hopefully it’s a whole lot more than that.”

Top 2 things PTI employees can do to improve profitability:

#2 – Every one of us needs to keep doing our jobs. For our drivers: that’s delivering the loads and running the miles. For our office staff: we’re the support staff – we need to give our drivers all of the tools they need to be successful out there.

#1 – The number one thing we can do to be profitable is Safety. We’ve got to keep doing all the things we do on Safety. Remember those PTI 4 Cornerstones of Safety: (1) Never use your cell phone while driving, (2) Wear your seatbelt, (3) Use 3-Points of Contact, and (4) Check your 5th wheel. A large accident can wipe out the profitability for the whole month, so let’s continue to be safe.

During this time, everybody’s job is a little more difficult. Drivers are waiting in longer lines at shippers and receivers and it’s more difficult to get their food and coffee at the truck stops. Office staff are no longer office staff – they have made their kitchen table into an office and maybe they are playing part-time teacher because their kids are home from school.

We know what our role is as a trucking company: Keep America Moving. Every day we pick this country up and we deliver it back to itself. We’ve got to make sure we keep doing our job because we’ve got America’s back and sometimes their backside too.