Tampa Bay Times; “Tampa Bay businesses innovate to stay alive in the face of coronavirus”

A Mack dump truck unloads materials at a Whitney Logistics construction job site.

“We had to come up with something better,” one owner said.

By Graham Brink
Published Apr. 9

Chris Whitney knew he had to do something to keep his drivers and customers safe from coronavirus.

He runs Whitney Transport, a Tampa-based hauling company. His customers needed the asphalt, gravel and other bulk materials used to build everything from roads to skyscrapers. And his drivers still wanted to work.

But delivering the goods required getting signatures, which meant drivers and customers coming into close contact, passing paperwork or an electronic device back and forth. The company was making about 7,000 deliveries a week, despite the economic slowdown. That’s a lot of human contact, when health officials were pleading for social distancing.

Whitney worked with his technology vendor to come up with a completely touchless delivery system. Within two weeks, he had it in place. Now, customers can use a smart device to see the dump trucks rolling to their sites. When the driver dumps the load, the customer gets a notice and signs off electronically. The driver and customer don’t even have to meet.

“We couldn’t keep doing it the old way,” he said. “We had to come up with something better.”

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Credit: Tampa Bay Times