Moving over the road truckers into the list of essential employers is really nothing new to those folks who are part of the transportation industry. But in a time when it remains increasingly difficult to keep the grocery store shelves full of everyone’s most favorite brands, the fact of the matter is that more and more people are looking at truckers as very important people. From the transportation industry support system that sits behind a desk and works to help track milage, road hours, shipment deadlines, and weather to the drivers themselves, there are many people who are helping American make its way through these trying times.
And while the trade show freight that is common this time of year in many warm weather to locations is not moving, there are many companies that are finding other ways to make sure that these trade show freight drivers are not idle. Repurposed to deliver needed ventilators, gloves, and masks to health care professionals, the trade show freight industry is now caring different kinds of time sensitive materials.
Truckload Shipping Rates Are Difficult to Predict During the Pandemic
As the cost of fuel plummets, truckload carriers and truckload logistics staff feverishly work to recalculate costs and expenses. And while there may be fewer cars on the road creating an easier route for many drivers, the fact of the matter is that there are also added expenses that trucking industry providers are incurring. From the need for substitute drivers to fill in for those who come down with the Covid-19 virus to the extra personal protection materials that the drivers themselves now need, there are an increasing list of expenses that must be factored into every delivery. And when you add in the fact that previous customers who are now not generating any revenue and may not be paying their transportation and delivery charges on time, it is important to realize that even this frontline industry is having to make major adjustments.
As entire companies shift their workload to accommodate necessary medical and food supplies instead of the delivery of trade show freight they may have been carrying in the past, the trucking industry is but one example of the many types of businesses altering its practices during the last two months. Accurately predicting what the next changes and transitions will be as the country, and the world for that matter, continues to battle the Coronavirus is going to be key to not only keeping grocery store shelves filled, but also the nation’s economy running again.
Consider these facts and figures about the many ways that the trucking and transportation industry impacts the lives of Americans and the nation’s economy in normal times, as well as the added influence it has during the pandemic:
- Trade shows are held in conventions centers all across the U.S. As of October 2016, in fact, there were 252 convention centers across the country. California and Florida had the largest number with 20 locations each, followed by Nevada which had 19. It should come as no surprise then that these states are some of the hardest hit when it comes to lost revenues caused by the Coronavirus.
- The value of freight moved was expected to increase from $882 per ton in the year 2007 to $1,377 per ton by the year 2040. Economists warn it make take months, if not years, to understand the impact these first two months of self isolation will have on the economy, and the trucking industry is no exception.
- In the year 2013, trucking transported nearly 15 billion tons of cargo. The Bureau of Labor Statistics published reports that indicated that by the year 2040 that number was expected to increase to 18.79 billion tons. All predictions are suspect, however, during these most unusual times.
- U.S. e-commerce revenue is about $423.3 billion and is steadily climbing. Whether it is full truckload, less-than-truckload (LTL), or parcel, carriers have long been forced to adjust to changes in the retail industry. As retail sales hit all time lows, however, these same carriers are now faced with empty loads and need to transition to other kinds of transportation avenues.