There are signs that trucking market continues to perform at a level higher than the overall economy. Perhaps because the shopping that consumers have been doing throughout the COVID-19 crisis has been mostly about products/goods and supplies rather than service and travel-oriented spending, keeping the trucking industry quite busy. This period of volume growth for the over-the-road carriers has allowed them some pricing power, which in the early weeks of the pandemic was not so shocking, as long as us consumers “got our stuff.”The basis for this growth simply was that the impact of COVID-19 was much lighter on goods-producing sectors, which rely heavily on trucking. While the service sectors that don’t rely so much on trucking were caused so much ruin by the COVID pandemic shutting down restaurants, hotels, travel and so on. The emergency equipment and supplies that need to get to hospitalsalso played a part in keeping trucks going. But even with what we have learned since the beginning of the pandemic, we are still taking precautions so as not to face another shutdown. COVID-19 has affected people in so many ways and will continue to do so as we begin to open up businesses and schools again.
Many industries affected are not able to just resume business until certain protocols are met. Some find these to be just more obstacles in the way of getting back to some kind of normal. Some of these protocols have opened up other paths such as requiring people to work and attend school remotely, thus spending more on computers and other hardware. The increased need of sanitizing supplies both for people at home and keeping work places COVID-safe for employees and customers has also kept a consistent purchasing of goods and transporting them. So while a grimmer picture might have been projected early in the pandemic, we have seen a consistent rise in consumer activity. Maybe vacations and travel plans were cancelled, but people are still purchasing.
Despite some of this positive outcome, we still have a ways to go to repair the damage done to the economy according to some experts. Unemployment is still high, some businesses unable to continue, and the vaccines as the starting point to regain confidence and solid positive momentum is months away.We are all adapting to the new norms of safety measures, distancing, sanitizing and being mindful of one another, driving towards a more positive outcome and hopefully seeing the uncertainty get smaller in our rear-view mirrors.