The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the work-life and wellbeing of 60 percent of trucking company owners, who are experiencing increased levels of stress and anxiety, financial pressure, and fatigue and tiredness. About 60 percent of truck drivers also say the pandemic has affected their mental health negatively.

These are among the findings of Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand’s wellness survey, which highlights the sustained pressure that the road freight industry has been operating under for the past couple of years.

Steady levels of reported fatigue and tiredness, about 40 percent for both employers and employees, is concerning.

“The trucking industry helped carry New Zealand through our COVID-19 response by keeping shelves stocked and maintaining essential supply chains. Doing this while negotiating lockdowns, economic uncertainty and staffing challenges has clearly posed wellbeing challenges for operators,” says Transporting New Zealand Chief Executive Nick Leggett.

“Heading into Mental Health Awareness Week, we were pleased to see that trucking companies are generally providing good support to their workers, with employees rating the assistance provided a 7 out of 10. Negative wellbeing impacts have also lessened for both employers and employees as we moved through the pandemic.

“While our survey shows trucking businesses did a great job with updating health and safety policies and processes, providing clears communication and guidance to staff, and ensuring PPE availability, there is always room for improvement.”

The wellness survey was part of Transporting New Zealand’s ongoing COVID-19 Response Project, that will provide practical help and resources to their members and the wider road freight industry. The Project also complements Mental Health Awareness Week, that begins on September 26.

“Transporting New Zealand has launched a suite of wellbeing resources on its website, and will be promoting practical steps that road freight operators can take to maximise their mental health and business resilience,” says Leggett. “We will also continue to advocate for greater industry support from government to ensure our operators can operate sustainable, safe and successful businesses.”

Please note: The content of this Advisory has been issued to inform members of Transporting New Zealand. It is for road freight transport industry circulation, not for media publication. It can be forwarded in its entirety to members of Transporting New Zealand. It cannot be reproduced, or printed in parts, under any logo other than Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand’s logo, without written permission from Transporting New Zealand.