Transportation and logistics groups across the nation took to the internet this week to note National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, rolling out a series of cyber events in a year when the coronavirus pandemic prevents them from gathering in person.

The annual event is sponsored by industry group the American Trucking Associations (ATA), which says the country’s 3.5 million professional drivers deserve special credit for their labors this year, when they have kept critical freight moving despite the looming danger of spreading Covid-19 infections to new areas.

One group offering a virtual celebration this week is the trucking, intermodal, and logistics service provider Schneider, which will celebrate “Driver Appreciation Days” from September 15 to 17, offering special activities and prize drawings. Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Schneider also said it had previously announced an “enhanced incentive program” to recognize its drivers’ contribution through the pandemic, boosting performance pay programs for all company drivers.

“Drivers are the powertrain of the economy and the industry,” Mark Rourke, Schneider’s president and CEO, said in a release. “Every load they haul has a direct impact on people’s lives, especially during the unprecedented events of this year. Driver Appreciation Days allows us to reflect on how valuable their contributions are every day and to provide them with some fun perks in honor of that.”

Likewise, truckload carrier U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc. is swapping its usual parties and cookouts on the occasion for a virtual recognition of its 6,500 drivers. The Chattanooga-based company will give away nearly $14,000 in hourly gift card drawings on its drivers Facebook page throughout the week, and has booked country music star Travis Denning to perform a live, virtual concert on September 17 dedicated to U.S. Xpress drivers.

And RoadPro, a Palmyra, Pennsylvania-based vendor of  truck & auto supplies, travel gear, and mobile electronics, said it is “taking it virtual” in 2020, since they are not able to visit local travel centers to thank drivers and hand out prizes as they’ve done in past years. The company has organized an online music show for the event, unveiling a “virtual concert” on its Facebook page on September 16. The lineup of musicians all appen to be truck drivers, including Ken Freeman, Mandi Jo Pinheiro, Taylor Barker, Bill Weaver, and Paul Marhoefer.


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