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The Impact of COVID-19 on the Trucking Industry


The Impact of COVID-19 on the Trucking Industry

The impact of coronavirus is there for all to see. It has affected almost every industry around the world, and people are now wondering which industry will be left standing. The trucking industry is the last one to be affected, which could signify danger for both truckers and people waiting for goods. There is no doubt that people might be wondering how COVID-19 has impacted the trucking sector. This article highlights some of the effects that the spread of the Coronavirus is bringing to the trucking industry.

Covid 19 obstacles for truckers

Maricela Rodriguez/Valley Morning Star
The precautions in place for COVID-19 are causing problems for truck drivers, with some states closing rest areas and truck stops and limiting access even when they are open.

Professional Truck Drivers

At the best of times, truckers face many challenges including lack of parking, long hours, difficulty eating healthy meals, high stress, and being paid by the mile rather than for all time.  During the Covid-19 pandemic, truckers are facing even more strenuous challenges as they struggle to bring the nation vital grocery, medical supplies, and essential needs.

Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, there are now rest area and service plaza closures, even more truck parking restrictions, further food limitations and availability, lack of bathroom and shower facilities and the availability of PPE.  They are also battling with the fear and guidance of what to do if they get infected on the road.
These are additional stressors that truck drivers do not need right now, but find themselves facing.

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the pandemic.  This means for drivers that some stress is relieved, however, most company drivers still are only paid for the miles they drive.

1. Truckers Losing Jobs

Although there is tremendous demand for truckers delivering food, pharmacy, and medical supplies,  many drivers are currently losing jobs in other sectors as their trucking companies slow down or even close their operations until further notice. This has led to considerable financial distress to most of these drivers who have been depending on these trucking sectors for income generation and sustainability.

The 2 Trillion dollar CARES Act, the Covid-19 stimulus bill relief package, will be a tremendous relief for company drivers as well as Owner Operators, however  to sustain their financial well-being in the meantime, we might see an increase in the number of online loans Texas truckers (and those in other states) are applying for in the coming months. This is the only source of income for drivers before they can see receive aid or resume their trucking duties.

Covid-19 Impact on trucking

2. Demand for Drivers

In the trucking industry, some trucking companies are cutting down on the number of employees, while others are looking for drivers. Trucking companies working in the transport of food, medicine, medical equipment, and other essentials have experienced a boom in their sector. All these essentials are in huge demand across the world, which explains why there is an increased demand for drivers who can help the companies in these sectors with meeting the growing demand.

3. Limited Movement

Trucking companies are known for long-distance services that they have been offering in the United States. Most of them have been providing coast to coast services for many years. However, the fact that the concentration of virus spread is restricted in specific cities, most of the trucking companies are choosing where to transport products and where not to transport. In as much as these companies want to remain in operations, they do not want to expose their essential employees to the virus. A March 25 report from the Supply Chain Analysis Network found that truckers “have been much more likely to reject offers to deliver” to the New York metropolitan area.

4. Cargo Selection Headaches

Previously, most of the trucking companies did not think much about the type of cargo they were transporting unless it was hazardous. However, everything has significantly changed since the emergence of COVID-19. Specific types of cargo are in much higher demand than others. Van and reefer are in demand while flatbed has fallen significantly. Companies and sole proprietors are in a race to secure the contracts for transporting these essential products. Those who traditionally found themselves transporting non-essential items must find new suppliers in order to stay operational.

5. Warehouse Closures

Warehouses are essential in the trucking industry as they act as distribution centers for most of the trucking companies. However, in the last few weeks, many of these warehouses are closing down including an Amazon facility in Kentucky. These closures are either due to the lack of consistent cargo to sustain their operations or in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. It is essential to highlight that most of the cities have instructed companies to close down and encouraged workers to move into self-isolation as a method of preventing the spread of the virus.

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, most of the sensitive industries will directly or indirectly be affected. The trucking industry is one of the essential sectors in the United States because it helps in the transportation of the necessary commodities to various corners of the nation. As it stands, the transport and the logistical industry is bleeding, and no sooner, people may experience an acute shortage in the supply of various products.


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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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3 Responses to The Impact of COVID-19 on the Trucking Industry. - Post a Comment

  1. […] The world wide Covid19 Pandemic affecting Trucking […]

  2. […] The Impact of COVID-19 on the Trucking Industry […]

  3. […] and receivers, waiting excessive hours at shippers and receivers ( many time without pay).  Many drivers are losing their jobs. Many are getting sick while out on the road with inadequate plans to get them home.  And some are […]

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