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Delivering in a Time of Crisis
Truck owner-operators and freight agents are in the spotlight as they transport much needed supplies being used to protect first responders in the United States from coronavirus (COVID-19). Personal protective equipment (PPE), like the N95 safety mask, used by medical professionals caring for coronavirus patients are in high demand.
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took action to increase the supply of PPE available to U.S. healthcare workers in March, manufacturers and distributers across the U.S. responded immediately by gathering supplies of highly sought N95 safety masks. According to the FDA, N95 respirators and surgical masks, offer ideal protection from COVID-19 because of their close facial fit and efficient filtration of airborne particles.
“Our customer doesn’t actually make the N95 face mask, but it is an authorized reseller. The customer took stock of its supply and contacted us to have Landstar transport two loads of masks to Pennsylvania for delivery,” Landstar Agent Troy Shasko explains. After getting the call about the high-priority loads in mid-March, the team at Shasko Global Logistics LLC went to work planning the specifics to transport and deliver a total of 110,000 N95 masks to the medical community in Western Pennsylvania.
“It was a priority to make these deliveries happen quickly and flawlessly for our customer, and more so for the first responders who need these masks now more than ever,” says Shasko. “The first 65,000 masks arrived on 12 pallets and were transported by a Landstar approved carrier into the Pittsburgh area. The second shipment, eight pallets with 45,000 masks, was loaded on to a Landstar BCO team drivers Fran and Maurice Carey's truck and transported into Pennsylvania.”
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) more than 20 million N95 respirator and surgical masks were distributed to medical facilities throughout the United States in March. An effort Shasko says he and his team were proud to be part of.
“The communication is key in a crisis, but frankly, this is what we do every day. It’s nice that truckers and transportation professionals are getting some recognition by the public, but it’s nothing amazing,” says Shasko. “People are realizing how critical the transportation industry is and how much trucks move, especially in a time of crisis.”