Lowell-based carrier J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. announced Monday (March 23) it will offer a one-time, $500 bonus to drivers and employees in field operations and customer facilities that support the drivers who have kept freight moving in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bonuses will cost between $13 million and $14 million and be given to about 23,000 employees, said Brad Delco, vice president of finance and investor relations for J.B. Hunt.
“All of our employees have gone above and beyond the call to action during this crisis,” said John Roberts, president and CEO of J.B. Hunt. “And nearly all of our field-level, front-line employees and certainly all of our drivers are required in person and have upheld the high standards of our company. They have kept pace with the evolving supply chain needs of our customers in the face of great uncertainty. These bonuses serve as a token of our appreciation for their service and hard work during these unprecedented times.”
The company will pay the bonus on March 27. It will be given to employee drivers, field employees and managers in terminals, intermodal ramps, maintenance shops, Dedicated Contract Service account locations and Final Mile distribution centers that directly support drivers.
J.B. Hunt recently took precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Earlier this month, it directed employees to work from home until at least April 3. The directive is for employees whose on-site presence is not required to perform their work. J.B. Hunt also established protocols on travel restrictions, self-quarantining, social distancing and other safety precautions. The company has provided employees with hand sanitizer and gloves and established an emergency COVID-19 paid time off policy for employees who are not able to work as a result of the illness or quarantine.
“The safety and health of all J.B. Hunt employees and their families are of the utmost importance to us,” Roberts added. “We are very grateful for their direction to ensure critical supplies reach their destination in these challenging times.”
The trucking industry recently received a reprieve from the hours of service rule for drivers who are hauling freight to provide relief in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shares of J.B. Hunt (NASDAQ: JBHT) closed Monday at $79.04, down $1.59, or 1.97%. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has ranged between $122.29 and $75.29.