May 15, 2020
Delivery tips for farms, markets during crisis

In our current crisis, contactless delivery is a safe method to reach customers with agricultural products from your farms and markets. In this article, we’ll review specific tips for how to implement contactless delivery while still maintaining a high level of communication with your customers.

Implementing contactless delivery can be simple. Following the below tips can help drivers creates a contactless delivery process:

• Drivers or staff at the market should contact customers with estimated delivery times via text, email or phone to alert customers that their order is on its way.

• When arriving at a customer’s location, the driver should place the delivery on the customers’ doorstep rather than greet the customer at the door.

• If alerting customers of a delivery’s arrival via phone, text or email is not available, place the delivery on the doorstep, ring the doorbell and step back at least 6 feet from the door or return to the delivery truck.

• Do not accept coupons, vouchers, reusable bags or containers such as egg cartons at this time.

Communicating your contactless delivery system, how it will work, and what customers can expect during their delivery is important to creating a successful system. Reach out to customers via email, text and phone to let them know specifics of their delivery such as:

• Estimated delivery time.

• Delivery procedures such as placing the delivery on the customer’s doorstep, ringing the doorbell, and maintaining social distance (at least 6 feet – that’s about two to three arm-lengths). • Not greeting your delivery driver at the open door. As an alternative to this please consider smiling, waving or offering a thumbs up to the delivery driver through a closed window.

• Not accepting coupons, vouchers, or returns of reusable containers or egg cartons at this time.

Tips for drivers are appreciated if you can add a tip electronically to your order at check out that is best. Otherwise please encourage the use of contactless tipping methods by utilizing online payment platforms.

Keeping delivery drivers safe and healthy is a priority for food and farm businesses. Below we’ve included strategies to clean and sanitize delivery vehicles in an effort to provide a clean and safe environment for both drivers and customers.

When making deliveries utilizing the contactless method, please remember that drivers come in contact with many different people and surfaces during the course of deliveries and could become sources for further spread of COVID-19. Therefore, to maintain the safety and health of drivers and customers we suggest the following practices:

Maintain at least a 6-foot distance between drivers and customers and utilizing the contactless delivery method outlined above.

Use commercially available sanitizer wipes or disinfectant sprays to clean high touch point surfaces after each delivery such as:

• Steering wheel.

• Gear shift.

• Seat belt, bucket and release button.

• Radio or GPS device.

• Turn signals.

• Headlight controls.

• Door handles and lift gate controls.

• Clipboards.

• Point-of-sale devices used to capture payment.

• Clean hands after each delivery with soap and water if available and if not available, with a hand sanitizer containing at least 70% alcohol.

• As always, encourage employees to not come to work if they are sick.

Implementing a simple contactless delivery system and communicating your process for providing a clean supply chain to customers helps ensure the health of employees and customers while helping to retain sales and maintain relationships into the future.

— Brian Moyer, Penn State Extension; Penn State University’s Carla Snyder and Luke LaBorde also contributed to this article.


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