This week I learned the difference between a pallet and a skid. A pallet can be moved with a fork lift from all four sides, a skid just from two sides. A skid is a simpler design, although not quite as strong. The skid is the original version of a pallet. Yes, I had to look it up.
Yesterday I reached out to several freight companies to get 2,800 yards of ripstop nylon trucked from California to our partner’s cut and sew facility in Billings. This shipment consists of 22 rolls of fabric approved for Level 1 and 2 hospital gowns.
One full skid.
To be clear, not all freight companies deliver to Montana. And not all freight companies are created equal. So, after reaching out to a few of them without luck, the shop phone rang. Daniela is on the other end, from Chicago. I let her know I needed to set up a new account to get some freight moving for PPE. She immediately launched into a string of gratitudes for companies like us who are pausing our usual production and pitching in to manufacture PPE for our front line workers. I was taken aback from this rush of talking, then the line went quiet.
And then I realize that she is crying.
Daniela then tells me she lost her sister to COVID-19 last week.
Choked up, we connected about the emotional and very real challenge of all this.
We then collected ourselves, got the account set up, and got the freight moving.
And that seems to be the thing that helps…keep the freight moving.
Each day, each hour even, seems to have such variable emotional, mental, and physical challenges. I am fortunate to have a distraction to keep my mind busy.
But it is not easy. Sleep evades me. Concern for delivery timelines, wash tests, price points, wanting to please everyone while trying not to over promise and under deliver. These concerns keep me wide awake at the darkest hours before dawn.
This is the new reality. It is not a sustainable one, for any of us.
But we must keep moving forward.
We must keep the freight moving.