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Navigating a Global Crisis: We're All in this Together

Posted by Robin Siekerman on Jun 18, 2020

When you think back over the last three months, doesn’t it just blow your mind?  What an incredible journey it’s been.  Prior to March, social distancing was unheard of, few had ever experienced a shelter-in-place decree and most would ask, “what is PPE”?  Three months later these are engrained in our daily lives.  We’re at war with a silent and deadly enemy.  Sadly, COVID-19 deaths are approaching almost half a million people worldwide with over 100,000 in the United States alone.

When asked about the impact of the Coronavirus on The Shippers Group and unprecedented events of the second quarter of 2020, Rob Doyle, President of The Shippers Group had this to say, “Overall, due to the hard work and dedication of our 1400 team members we were able to step-up and get the job done for our customers and our communities under some very challenging conditions. I am very proud of the team but I am not surprised by how well the team has done in navigating through this crisis.”


So Much Has Changed

Lives are changed, families are changed, the way we socially interact has changed, the way we work has changed and the way we buy and receive essential food and other goods has changed.  Although parts of the world were impacted sooner than we were here in the U.S., for most of us this dramatic transformation has enveloped us just over the past three short months, and it is indeed mind blowing. 

The Initial Impact

  • The Doors Blew Off --  As so much was changing and happening so fast in our world, so true was the immediate impact at The Shippers Group.  As our clients fought to keep up with demand for paper products, shelf stable food items and cleaning supplies, our associates worked overtime to manage the volume.  We successfully handled huge spikes in order volume and truckloads of CPG products shipped to retailers across our regions. 

  • New Safety Protocols -- With safety of TSG associates our number one priority, we immediately organized our COVID Task Force to keep up with the latest CDC guidelines regarding Coronavirus and ensure prompt and thorough communication of these guidelines to our managers, associates and our customers.  We established policies and procedures for self-identification, visitors on property, temperature checks, personal protective equipment, social distancing, telecommuting and the list goes on... 

  • Communication –  With so many new guidelines and restrictions at such a fast pace impacting how we do business, frequent and concise communication was vitally important both internally and externally to our customers:

      • COVID Task Force Meetings

        • All functional areas

        • Latest CDC guidelines and every state/local status regarding shelter-in-place

        • PPE and supplies procurement

        • Current policies and procedures for sanitation, social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, etc.

        • Mental health resources

      • Weekly Meetings with General Managers

        • Ensures communication of CDC guidelines, state/local requirements, current policies

        • Addresses any challenges within individual facilities

        • Review absenteeism and status of COVID cases, associates on quarantine, etc.

      • COVID-19 Weekly Updates

        • Eblast weekly to customers and associates

        • Rob Doyle's weekly video to address associates

      • COVID-19 Resource Page

Ongoing Response

As we continue to move forward in our fight against COVID-19, we remain steadfast to do everything possible to keep our associates safe.  All associates are required to wear a mask or a face covering such as a bandana.  As the weather is heating up, we know how uncomfortable wearing a mask can be for many of our associates.  We are stressing the need for comfortable and breathable protective face coverings and the importance of staying hydrated.  Associates are allowed a clear bottle of water on the warehouse floor as allowed by our stringent AIB and BRC Food Safety requirements, and they are urged to stay home if they are not feeling well.  A list of guidelines follows: 

  • Wash our hands thoroughly throughout the day

  • Practice social distancing (6 feet apart as much as possible)

  • If you are sick, do not come to work, contact your health care provider and let your supervisor know

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

  • Wear a mask per the guidelines issued for all facilities

  • If you plan to take a COVID-19 test, make sure you let your supervisor know you are taking it and report back the result of the test as well. Please stay home while you await the results of the test and if negative, you can go back to work immediately.  If you test positive, you need to stay home for 14 days and come back once you have the “all clear” from your health care provider.

  • If someone in your family/household tests positive for COVID-19, you need to self-quarantine and get tested. Once you have a negative result and finish your quarantine period, you can come back to work. 


Endless Appreciation

Our associates are among the Essential American Supply Chain Workforce tirelessly working to ensure delivery of essential food, healthcare and other consumer packaged goods to households across the country.  We are proud of the unwavering commitment of our operations teams to minimize disruptions to the food supply chain.  Every team worked closely with our customers to understand their needs and responded immediately to the call so that goods continued to flow where needed. When asked about this, Rob Doyle proudly explained how “the entire Shippers Group team pulled together.  The collaboration and communication with our customers and supplier-partners has been outstanding, and it contributed to our collective success over the last few months.”  We appreciate the support of our customers during this uncertain time to help us navigate these unchartered waters and persevere.  Thank you to our customers, our associates and their families for supporting their loved ones as they continued to work to keep America fed and supplied with essential items.


We’ve heard it said many times in recent days, “We’re all in this together.”  As we move forward in the days and weeks ahead, let us remain persistent in our fight against COVID-19 by helping keep ourselves and those around us stay safe.  Wash your hands often, practice social distancing, wear a mask, check on your friends and neighbors- especially the elderly and those who are alone.  Continue to honor all on the front lines of our healthcare systems who are working to care for patients and those committed to helping find a cure.  By working together and supporting one another, we will get through this. 

The Shippers Group is a leading national third party logistics company located in 6 states. In addition to 3PL warehousing services, the company also provides contract packaging, ecommerce and transportation management services. 

Learn more about The Shippers Group's prevention and response to COVID-19 by clicking here.

Topics: Warehousing, News Room

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