The Post-COVID Trucking Industry
What Can We Expect?
COVID has impacted every industry in America since last year. Corporations and small businesses alike are experiencing the effects of it and have all had to adapt in some way. The trucking industry was one of the first that had to do this. Without trucks delivering supplies, stores would have stayed empty longer, and medical supplies would not have gotten where they were needed. According to FTR Transportation Intelligence, 2021 was forecasted to be a rebuilding year to bounce back from the negative impacts of COVID. With this initial forecast in mind, let’s look at what we can look forward to with post-COVID trucking.
Remote Work Isn’t Going Away
Working from home was one of the biggest adjustments businesses had to adapt to in 2020. Even though this process was stressful for some industries, it helped truckers massively with deliveries. With the majority of people working from and staying home, truckers saw less traffic on highways and roads. Some companies reported that deliveries were being made 3 times quicker due to the low traffic. Now that most companies are used to working from home, many are not making their employees return to offices or are utilizing hybrid schedules. Truckers can be thankful for this and hope that the amount of traffic stays lower post-COVID than it was before it hit.
Online Shopping Growth
Every year, e-commerce and online shopping have increased. When COVID hit, it skyrocketed. For the entire 2020-year, online shopping grew 44% from 2019. With this growth, there was a much larger number of packages and orders that needed to be shipped and transported via trucks. Online sales are expected to remain high in the future, with many people switching only to online shopping versus going to a brick-and-mortar store. Truck drivers and carriers can expect the demand for retail shipments and deliveries to remain high because of this.
The rise of contactless, digital technology and tools was one of the more efficient changes that truckers can be thankful for. Companies had to go paperless due to the virus’s contagious nature. Electronic bills and contracts are quicker and easier for drivers to send and receive when at stops. Drivers don’t have to walk from their trucks to their delivery offices or security stations anymore. They can now do everything digitally from their phone, laptop, or tablet.
There are a few areas within the trucking industry that will continue to stay steady throughout the year. Grocery and retail carriers will see continued success this year. One other segment that will grow is final-mile delivery and medical carriers. The vaccine rollout and continued need for medical supplies will keep their carriers busy this year. The online shopping rise mentioned earlier will give final-mile delivery companies plenty of business for the future.
Post-COVID Trucking Changes
The post-COVID trucking industry will have many changes, but most seem to be for the better. The industry has shown this past year it is capable of adapting and keeping drivers on the road hauling products.
Even with the industry evolving and changing, one thing that isn’t going away is the shortage of truck drivers. This continues to grow, and the need will always be there for drivers. Georgia Driving Academy offers Class A CDL training programs to help train drivers getting into the industry start their truck driving careers.