Truck Drivers Wait For Loads As Demand Slows Down In Colorado

(CBS4) – A fifth person has died from coronavirus in connection with the outbreak at the JBS meat packing plant in Greeley. The plant reopened on Friday after being shutdown for cleaning to prevent any further spread of the virus among workers.

In Fort Morgan, Leprino Foods was shut down because of coronavirus. A high number of workers at the dairy product plant tested positive for COVID-19, including some without symptoms.

It will stay closed for at least five days to be cleaned and for every employee to be tested.

CBS4’s Karen Morfitt interviews Joel Sanchez (credit: CBS) The closures have raised concerns for some about the supply chain, particularly after Tyson foods Chairman said he believed it was breaking.

Truck drivers like Joel Sanchez are seeing changes already. “I’ve been here since Friday,” he said. “There’s no work right now.” The truck driver was parked next to the TA Travel Center in Wheat Ridge.

He had been there for nearly two weeks waiting to be assigned a load. Sanchez says with more people staying home, the products they ship, like construction material and electronics are no longer in demand, and the loads they do deliver are paying far less than just a month ago. David Orleck says he’s fortunate he drives a refrigerated truck.

Truck Drivers Wait For Loads As Demand Slows Down In Colorado

(credit: CBS) “The freight prices are crashing and there are no available loads on a daily basis,” Orleck said. Orleck hauls food and other essential goods, but he says even he has seen a slow down.

“It should be running like crazy right now, but yet it’s not and there’s no real answer to why that is,” he said. CBS4 spoke with some of the major trucking companies in the Denver metro area. They believe a rush on goods early caused a lull on shipments in April.

They expect it will end soon, but they know closures of meat and dairy plants in Colorado are playing a role. The result for truck drivers, more waiting. RELATED: Latest Updates On The Coronavirus Outbreak In Colorado

“What are these drivers going to do if that’s all they’ve ever done in their life,” Orleck said.

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