Efforts to contain the coronavirus have begun to significantly impact daily life in much of the country. We've continued to operate as the dealers we serve, and the ramps and ports we operate from, have remained open. Over the last couple of days, that's started to change, and we're adapting to those changes.
Since the Seattle area is a current hot-spot, we've stopped sending local drivers from California to assist with volumes in the area.
Rental car agencies have stopped taking deliveries, as business travel and car rentals have declined significantly. These vehicles are being put on hold at the ramps and ports.
Seven counties in Northern California have requested residents shelter-in-place and avoid large gatherings. Dealers have largely remained open, and we've continued to operate, since our drivers have limited interactions with only a few people.
Dealers are starting to close, as they either close for the foreseeable future, or stop taking vehicles as they run out of space.
We'll continue to serve dealers that remain open, but expect these to decline over the next few weeks.
As our dealer business declines, we're looking for other opportunities. We have been approached about several mass moves to relocate cars. Also, our OEM customers (Honda, Toyota etc.) are in discussions about shuttle vehicles from rail ramps to off-site storage locations in an effort to keep the rail ramps fluid. This will result in a lot of work.
As business slows, we will do what we can to keep everyone working, albeit at possibly lower levels. We do not currently anticipate lay-offs, but if drivers have opportunities elsewhere in the short term, we'll support a leave of absence. Professional Auto Transport is a successful business and has been in business a long time. Rest assured we will support our team members through these challenging times.
In the meantime, please continue to minimize your chance of getting sick! Wash your hands often, avoid hand to hand contact, avoid touching your face and try to keep 6 feet between you and others. Make sure you get enough sleep.
To reiterate: Be Careful-Be Safe!! Don't let these current events distract you from the job at hand. Always pay attention to what you're doing, watch where you're stepping, and do not rush while you're working - it's too easy to injure yourself if you're not focused on what you're doing.
- Dave Floyd