An employee at the Chicago headquarters of Echo Global Logistics tested positive for the coronavirus, company officials confirmed to FreightWaves on Wednesday.
Company officials said they are working with the Illinois Department of Health to follow appropriate guidelines and procedures.
“The incident was in our Chicago office, and we are implementing a deep cleaning,” said Christopher Clemmensen, senior vice president of marketing at Echo Global Logistics. “We expect that to be completed today and to re-open the office for any employee that prefers to work in our facility.”
Clemmensen said Echo Global Logistics had already taken “steps to implement our Business Continuity Plan last week.”
“Our entire workforce has been enabled to work from home. Prior to the identification that someone had tested positive, the vast majority of our workforce was working from home and we are executing at full capacity. We are absolutely open for business and executing for our clients and carriers,” Clemmensen said.
Echo Global Logistics has more than 30 offices around the country. The company offers freight brokerage and managed transportation solutions for all major modes, including truckload, partial truckload, less-than-truckload, intermodal and expedited.
Like Echo Global Logistics, many other freight brokerages and third-party logistics providers are allowing employees the flexibility to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Matt Silver, founder and CEO of Chicago-based Forager, said his company “transferred to fully remote work last week.”
“We’re a young, tech-focused company, so a lot of the tools and best practices for working from home were already in place by the time we made the switch,” Silver said. “The only real changes we’re implementing procedurally are focused on maintaining the company culture. We’re a startup, so we’re pretty high energy.”
Silver said to keep employees on the same page, Forager is “doing virtual happy hours and we’re taking video fitness classes.”
He added, “We’ve set up a Slack channel exclusively for sending pictures of our dogs. We’re committed to social distancing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be social.”
Frank McGuigan, CEO of Frisco, Texas-based Transplace, said his company also recently activated its remote business operations plan. Transplace offers a wide range of technology and logistics solutions for its customers.
“We activated our Transplace remote business operations plan in response to the coronavirus to transition most employees to work from home while maintaining 100% business continuity,” McGuigan told FreightWaves. “This doesn’t mean the Transplace offices are closed, but that employees are encouraged to work from home if at all possible and without limitation in productivity.”
McGuigan also said Transplace has implemented “new visitor guidelines, critical business travel restrictions, sanitation protocol, and social distancing procedures to ensure a healthy workplace.”
“In this transition, we have had no disruption in our day to day operational activities, nor do we expect any disruption. We are well-prepared to provide our customers’ ongoing business support and operations,” McGuigan said.
The National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America Inc. (NCBFAA) also instituted a work-from-home policy for its Washington, D.C. headquarters on Monday, March 16.
“The health and safety of its employees is a top priority for the association, and we will be monitoring the situation closely to best gauge when employees may return to the office,” NCBFAA said in a statement.
There are at least 7,111 cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. as of Wednesday, according to state and local health agencies and governments and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.