CRST Comes Through

Every person around the globe continues to feel the impact of the pandemic caused by COVID-19. CRST Dedicated Solutions plays an essential role in battling the virus and bringing down the infection rate: vaccine roll-out. 

Each week, CRST’s Pharma team rolls out 10-15 million doses all across the country. This feat, while a milestone for the health and wellness of our country, is nothing new to them. The company’s Health Sciences team is well-prepared for this distribution — and has been since 1994. 

“CRST has committed ourselves to doing our part to transport the vaccine as quickly and safely as possible to all our citizens,” Austin Bildstein, Director of Operations at CRST, told HireMaster. “We are looking for drivers who want to join us in this endeavor to deliver a product that can save lives and get our country back on its feet again. We are looking for driving partners who share that commitment and wish to be a part of something that will change lives and the course of our country. 

“Our drivers need to go through an intensive orientation class that is centered around the security components of hauling a pharmaceutical load, the requirements that must be met to meet our customer’s expectations from a communication and service perspective, and hands-on instruction of how to operate the refrigerated units on our trailers so they are equipped to troubleshoot any issue over the road.”

Driver perspective

Kelly Hermann is one of a few drivers making not just CRST history, but COVID-19 history. She has been driving for CRST 19 years, six with the Pharma team.

“This is something I have been so excited to be a part of. I am proud to do my part and make a difference. It was a very special moment, and we were greeted like we were in a parade,” Hermann said.

Special preparations

Partners preform site audits and accommodate special requirements for these temperamental vaccines such as temperature control, all while being FDA compliant and secure throughout the process. CRST brings a level of comfort to the pharmaceutical distribution network.

“We are thankful to our customers that produce and distribute the vaccines and we are very proud to be helping the country slow and stop the impact of COVID-19,” said Hugh Ekbert, CRST president and CEO. “We are even more proud of the great and hardworking men and women doing the quality work to make it happen.”

The company’s work in delivering vaccines if far from finished. The need for drivers is more prevalent than ever, especially in dedicated. The carrier is willing to compensate the drivers for it.

Pay increases

“We do foresee a rate increase coming for our drivers in the dedicated division in the near future,” Bildstein said. “We are working diligently on our plan to roll a wage increase out to our divisions in 2021.”

CRST paid more than $1.2 million in bonuses in the final quarter of 2020. On Jan. 1, 2021, the Expedited Solutions division increased its overall pay package. This expanded OTR team driver earning potential.

Additionally, CRST Expedited Solutions offers many of their drivers the option to choose increased home time packages. With this new opportunity, drivers can get great miles and be home weekly.   

“Our drivers are the backbone of our success,” Ekbert said. “They are fundamental to all that we are, and through better pay, home time, and career path opportunities, drivers will be the core of our success as we strive to always do what’s best for our team and our customers.”

Reagan Payne is a staff writer for Wright Media. Reach her at

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