Impact of COVID-19 on the Trucking Industry
The ripple caused by COVID-19 has affected many industries including the trucking industry. The supply chain disruptions have caused a large drop in the trucking business with many companies struggling to keep their doors open and trucks running. In this article, we will take a look at the impact of the global pandemic in the trucking industry and how it has changed the way truckers and fleet managers work.
1. Improved Worker Safety
Logistic firms and carriers have taken necessary steps to protect truck drivers and employees from contracting COVID-19 while at work.
Truck drivers, owner-operators, and other workers are provided with masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and surface cleaning products to prevent spreading the virus. Truck drivers are advised to follow proper Covid19 protocol, including sanitizing their rigs and maintaining a safe distance.
Fleet owners have taken significant steps to reduce driver interaction at consignee and shipper locations with the help of shifting from paper bills to electronic bills and forms.
2. Globalization of Supply Chains
The supply and demand shock that began in February 2020 has helped companies identify vulnerabilities in their production strategies. While more companies are looking into setting up production within the country, they are realizing the cost-efficiency of importing raw materials.
This is expected to cause a surge in Import and export, which will bring more business to the supply chain industry, and ultimately for the truckers as well.
3. Regulatory Changes
COVID-19 has driven both state and federal governments to bring regulatory changes in the trucking industry. Regulators may open up to newer technologies such as autonomous vehicles and drones too.
In March 2020, the FMCSA waived off driver hours-of-service limits, affecting many commercial carriers that are transporting emergency relief supplies or essential goods.
4. Rise of e-Commerce
The influence of e-commerce is evident globally across industries. It has pushed people to become convenient with e-commerce from the comfort of their homes. A rise in e-commerce has propelled the trucking industry’s growth too.
As consumer demand increases, companies will rely heavily on trucking services to deliver goods. Truck drivers help provide raw materials to production houses and finished products to customers. The e-commerce trend is most likely here to stay and even grow further in 2021.
5. Future Opportunities
The supply and demand gap that took form in the initial months of the pandemic will bring future opportunities for truckers. This imbalance will lead to tighter carrier capacity and will ultimately cause freight charges to rise.
In 2021, the trucking industry will see a surge in growth and truckers must be prepared for this. There will be more jobs available to match the sudden demand and truckers are expected to see a pay rise as well.
As the global pandemic continues to wreak havoc, we’d like to remind you that there are good things to look up to in the coming year. The pandemic has changed how many companies work - some of them for good. As we enter into 2021, let us hope that the truckers and trucking companies flourish at an unprecedented pace.