The trucking industry plays a vital role in the nation’s supply chain. After facing challenges over the years, including a lack of drivers, stagnant pay rates, and high turnover, the industry must now contend with the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
Some areas thrive while others struggle
The challenges, or lack thereof, faced by truckers depends largely on the type of cargo they’re hauling. Grocery and medical supply deliveries are seeing a robust business. Truckers who haul fuel to manufacturing centers, such as auto manufacturers, are definitely feeling the pinch.
The data over the past couple of months bear this out. There are more truckers looking for loads to haul than there are loads available. Some truck drivers may be able to receive some form of economic relief if their employer has applied for federal relief funds. However, the trucking industry as a whole is not yet pushing for specific federal aid.
Potential dangers extend beyond any economic impact
Truckers who are on the road need to be aware of other potential dangers. The need to deliver supplies can encourage some drivers to push their limits. Some law enforcement agencies have noticed an uptick in speeding drivers now that roads have less traffic than usual. It’s more important than ever for drivers to remain vigilant and safe as they traverse the country.
Our economy cannot survive without the hard work of the nation’s truckers. This crisis will pass, and hopefully the transportation industry will realize what long-term problems need to be addressed and will come up with plans to ensure the long-term health of the trucking industry.