The third quarter so far has certainly delivered on excitement and comes with much anticipation for what’s next. We celebrated many successes, including the incredible milestone of our professional driver, Tim Dean, achieving five million accident-free miles. He became just the second driver in company history to reach this rare and elite milestone. Over Tim’s 35 years on the road, he has impacted numerous customers by delivering their freight both safely and on time, and we thank him for his contributions to Werner and the entire industry. This milestone reiterates the vital role our professional drivers play for our company and our country’s success. We’re grateful for our exceptional drivers, like Tim, and will continue ‘rollin’ with gratitude as we commemorate National Truck Driver Appreciation Week September 10-16. Beginning September 5, our leadership team began visiting professional drivers and mechanics across the nation to answer questions, provide company updates and say thank you. We can all take part in this simple yet powerful act of thanking as many drivers as we can throughout the week and sharing photos on social media using the hashtag, #RollinWithGratitude. If you’d like to participate in National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, please reach out to your Werner contact for ways to get involved.
Another cause for celebration in July was the unveiling of Werner Bridge, our new digital freight platform. Bridge is our newest tech-driven feature-rich logistics solution designed specifically for our shippers and carriers. For shippers, Bridge makes it easy to get instant quotes, book shipments and manage orders smoothly, with full network visibility. And as always, our best-in-class customer service is at the heart of Bridge, with human-backed experience every step of the way. The platform is currently going through a controlled release, with plans for a full platform launch as early as fourth quarter. Look for more updates on this exciting new platform very soon.
A Heartfelt Thank You
It is always like Christmas in July for our team during our Annual Transportation Forum, where we welcomed more than 300 of our valued customers and key suppliers into Omaha on July 16-17. I always appreciate this opportunity to come together, share ideas, debate topics and learn from our broader professional circle. You will read more about the Forum later in this newsletter, but I want to extend a special thank you to our generous events sponsors and to all attendees who participated in charitable giving opportunities throughout the event. Together, nearly $500,000 was raised and will be invested into charities helping those who need it most around basic needs and mental health, including the American Heart Association, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, United Way, Trucking Cares Foundation and many more.
We also thank all who supported our selection as a 2023 Quest for Quality award recipient from Logistics Management in the category for truckload-dry freight carriers. Earning this award is a great honor and reinforces our steady and unwavering commitment to serving our customers with excellence. We are dedicated to providing innovative solutions for our customers in an honest, responsible and competitive way and it remains our pleasure to serve you.
The Seventh Inning Stretch
Moving through the third quarter, consumers continue the transition back to services, housing is in a recession and manufacturing is now contracting. Still, we have seen some modest yet positive signs of economic improvement. Carriers who are solely spot market players face extreme pressure from significantly lower spot rates, volumes and surging costs. Due to these inevitable implications, the upcoming and normal seasonality for freight approaching the holidays gives hope for surviving fleets. With some difficult headwinds still ahead of us this quarter, we remain cautiously optimistic for a normalized fourth quarter.
In any economic condition, you can be assured we will continue being transparent and keep our promises with you. We operate with the mindset that we do not know what is going to happen tomorrow and must be ready to innovate for change. We are a company built on strong values with an exciting future ahead and we look forward to serving you with excellence now and in the future.