Significant Impact of COVID-19 on the Trucking Industry
As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on almost all industries. It’s heartbreaking to know that countless businesses all over the world have shut down because of the financial crisis and government restrictions… and will likely never reopen. Not surprisingly, some of the most affected sectors are hospitality, travel, entertainment, and restaurants. What many people don’t realize however is that the trucking industry has also been adversely affected.
In Canada, trucking is an essential service. This is why drivers keep on working despite the pandemic. Although they know how challenging and difficult it is to continue working during the pandemic, effectively risking their lives along the way, they keep on rolling to earn a living as they move products and services for society as a whole. But having said that, the reality is many in the trucking industry also have faced lowered demand for products and services due to COVID-19.
The impact on the trucking industry from Covid-19?
To better understand the huge impact of COVID-19 on the trucking industry, we need to take a closer look some of the fallout that has occurred from it, such as:
Truck driving was not as secure of a career as many assumed
When the pandemic struck, food, medical supplies, and other essential goods needed to be transported to help people survive. Truck drivers play an important role in ensuring that the goods will be delivered amidst the crisis. They, like front line workers have rightly been considered heroes because of this.
However, not all drivers enjoyed the same demand for their services. There are sectors of the economy that totally shut down or ceased operations. Drivers working for hospitality and professional services lost their jobs or have been laid off. As a result, the future of many of Canada’s truckers became uncertain.
Supply chain issues arose
As COVID-19 spread across the country and the entire world supply chain issues started to arise from many areas. Consider that many warehouses were forced to close down. Some workers also fell ill due to Covid, many of which have still not been able to return to work.
Driving long shifts became even more challenging. Even something mundane but essential as eating has become difficult during the time of the pandemic. Many drivers had to search long and hard to find open restaurants at times during the pandemic.
Suggestions for the trucking industry?
COVID-19 has forced the world into a new way of thinking. While some of us have become more resilient, others have struggled. The trucking industry has suffered significantly during this difficult time; and in the end, its future may be very different than what it was pre-pandemic.
Here are a few suggestions on how the trucking industry can adapt to the “new normal”:
Promote and follow Covid-19 appropriate habits and guidelines
Drivers should wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves and masks, to protect themselves from possible virus transmission. Regular checking of temperature on drivers should also be implemented in every destination, distribution areas, and delivery points. They should follow cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
Less contact and less paper
Much would be gained if the trucking industry was to exclusively utilize contactless and paperless transactions. Instead of getting receipts, paper bills, and cash payments, truckers could use electronic methods for processing everything. This would further help reduce contamination and spreading of the virus will decrease.
Hire and onboard virtually
Even things such as hiring and onboarding new truck drivers can pose a risk due to person-to-person interaction. In line with that, trucking companies should have virtual orientations for new drivers. Application and hiring can be done remotely as well.
The trucking industry has faced a lot of uncertainties as the pandemic created massive changes to the world today. The difficulty and challenges truck drivers have experienced must be adapted to while we wait for our current situation to improve. This pandemic has only reinforced that there is only one constant in this world, change.
Do you need the help of a heavy truck dealer in London, ON? Gerry’s Truck Centre is a family-owned business that has been serving truck drivers and owners since 1981. We offer all our customers top-notch trucks, reliable parts, and excellent customer service. Get in touch with us for all your trucking needs today!