Amid the COVID-19 Chaos
A view from the inside a grocery DC
We’re here. We’re open. We are swamped. We’re working tirelessly to replenish. That is the truth as the shelves of grocery stores go bare.
I work for a company that unloads the receiving trucks in the distribution center of a large grocery store chain. As toilet paper was inhaled by the masses, I watched as truck after truck was docked full of toilet paper. It went out as quickly as it came in. Any in the warehouse were pulled and shipped. It all happened quickly, attempting to keep up with the demand. But even we will have to wait as the manufacturers scramble to catch up. It is a united effort that takes time.
It all happened so fast. Toilet paper, sanitizers, and food ripped from the shelves in a matter of days. What were grocery stores expected to do? They called for more from the distribution centers. Buyers put in the orders to keep the supply flowing. The distribution centers have been overrun.
Our receiving numbers doubled, then tripled. Our hours have extended. Sunday has become an open for business day. It’s a scramble to replenish the stores, and believe me the food is coming in. It takes time for the food train to run. That train is running with no restrictions. Truckers are running non stop, so please give them space and let them do their job.
The vendor needs to pack the trucks. The trucks must travel. The distribution center needs to receive the order to ship to the stores. The stores then need to stock the shelves. It’s a process. A process that can only go so fast. We are human as much as the next person and there is a limit to how much can be done at one time.
Today I’m seeing a full load of Lysol disinfectant wipes that will be heading straight to the store. Recently I saw pictures of a local P&G distribution center being overwhelmed with trucks heading in and out of the facility. I know some of those trucks will be headed here. I know we will be the ones to unload them so that the grocery chain can ship them. All the major vendors are coming in in bigger quantities. There are loads of cleaning supplies and laundry supplies. There are loads of all paper goods. There are loads of canned goods. There are loads of pet food and cat litter. Nothing is being forgotten. Nothing is being ignored. It’s all coming.
Remember we shop the same stores as everyone else. We AREN’T given special treatment. We ARE suffering the same shortages as everyone else. We are lucky to still be working, even if it’s more than usual. We are busting ass to receive the food that needs to go out.
There are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people working to keep our supply chain alive. The employees of the manufacturers. The truckers hauling the product. The distribution center employees and store employees all working to feed themselves and us all. If you know someone who works among any of these thank them. Of course, do it from a safe distance.
It’s quick and easy to deplete the stores, but it takes time to replenish those stores. It is happening as fast as we can unload the trucks, distribute the product, and have the trucks prepared for the stores.
In the meantime, be safe. Be smart. We’re all in this together. We will get past this and life will return to it’s normal madness. Thank you for your time and your patience.
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