Keeping manufacturing and commerce moving

(Photo courtesy of Jensen Transport)
(Photo courtesy of Jensen Transport)

During 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic, the general public and the business community have become even more aware of how important a continuous flow of raw goods and finished products is to our day-today lives. And trucking companies and truck drivers are increasingly considered essential workers, helping to keep store shelves stocked and the economy moving.

“If a disruption of service happens, like with a pandemic, people aren’t able to buy what they were buying before and that has a ripple effect,” said Tim Jensen, chief operating officer of Jensen Transport in Independence. “If we can’t get the materials to the manufacturers and then get the products to the distribution centers, we have a problem,” Jensen said.

“So to keep things moving, we’ve had to change how we do business. Our drivers are calling in to guard shacks to check in rather than driving right up to the plant. There are a lot of securities in place so our drivers aren’t dealing with a lot of people face-to-face.”

Change is a constant in the trucking industry. Companies like Jensen Transport have evolved and grown to keep up with customer demands.

Like many family owned, locally-grown businesses, Jensen Transport started out small.

“We started in 1930 hauling cans of cream into the creamery here in Independence,” said Tim Jensen, chief operating officer of Jensen Transport.

“My grandfather, Elmer, used a rumble seat in his car to haul those cans of cream.”

Over the years, the trucking industry has evolved and modernized. Trailers have become more specialized for specific hauling needs: refrigeration trailers, livestock haulers, and climate-controlled trailers began to enter the mix. The cabs of the trucks started to resemble small living quarters as drivers began making longer trips.

Trucks and trucking companies changed to meet the changing needs of their customers. They’re doing the same now, Jensen said, as business through a pandemic is much different than it was before.

Still, he said, the trucking industry presses on.

“It’s a symptom of the pandemic, but our view is everyone needs help — from the drivers to the materials supplier,” he said. “We make sure we’re on the phone asking what we can do, what kind of solution can we provide. It’s just opening up that dialogue and making sure business continues.”

To learn more about becoming an essential driver to help feed the nation, go online to jensentransport.com or call (800) 772-1734.

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