The COVID-19 pandemic has had sway on almost every industry, with businesses having to clean up around the world to assist slow the spread. Travel, hospitality, restaurants, and entertainment are feeling the largest pinch, but even other sectors – just like the industry – are affected.
Because trucking is taken into account as an important service in Canada, drivers are working throughout the pandemic, despite addressing some challenges along the way. But there are some segments of the industry that are hurting, too, as demand sure goods and services have decreased.
Take a more in-depth observe what the industry has been rummaging these previous couple of months, and what to expect on the road ahead.
How Was Trucking Affected?
Since the impact of the coronavirus crisis has varied, trying to summarize the trucking trends in 2020 is complicated. For instance, in line with Trucking HR Canada’s Labour Market Snapshot, during the primary two quarters of 2020, 49,000 truck drivers lost their jobs. However, the industry added 43,500 new drivers from June to August. What’s more, the percentage amongst drivers decreased from a high of 12% in June, to 6.3% in August, which is a smaller amount than the general national percentage. This goes to indicate that COVID-19’s impact on the industry has been sort of a rollercoaster ride.
Here’s a more in-depth observe a number of the industry issues to arise this year:
Fluctuating demand for drivers
Fleets that are to blame for transporting medical supplies, food, and other essential goods are quite busy throughout the crisis. Some trucking businesses, even had to rent new drivers to stay up. Fortunately for tow truck companies such as towing Santa Clara, they were able to keep their drivers during the pandemic. In fact, many consider truckers to be heroes together with other frontline workers because they kept on reporting to figure to create sure supply chains kept running smoothly.
Not all drivers saw increased demand, however. With some sectors shutting down completely or a minimum of scaling back, from professional services to hospitality to events, the requirement for truck deliveries to those forms of businesses slowed considerably. As such, their jobs were lost or been furloughed for some drivers. For these sorts of businesses, the longer term of trucking in Canada continues to be uncertain.
Warehouses closed down
During the peak of the pandemic, especially in virus outbreak hotspots, some warehouses were forced to shut down due to multiple workers getting sick. In turn, that meant that truck routes were disrupted as drivers weren’t ready to enter these distribution locations.
Challenges on the road
Finding places to eat was difficult during the months when restaurants were locked down, and since trucks can’t undergo drive-throughs, options were limited. This made driving long shifts quite challenging. Roadside rest stops did remain hospitable to accommodate drivers, however. On the positive side, there was less traffic to modify during the lockdown periods.
Future of the industry
Just as the COVID-19 experience has changed the way people work and also the safety precautions everyone worries about, the long run of trucking in Canada may look a touch different. The industry has had to adapt and consider making long-term changes to form things safer and more efficient for drivers. A number of these include:
A shift to paperless and contactless
The fewer physical exchanges of paperwork there are, the safer truck drivers and also the people they meet along the way may stay. Rather than paper bills, receipts, and check/cash payments, everything is also exchanged electronically. This can be expected to be among the key trucking trends in 2020 which will stick around.
Onboarding new truck drivers virtually
Just as other organizations have realized, it’s possible to onboard new employees with reduced in-person interactions. Many trucking companies are hosting virtual orientations or a minimum of allowing drivers to finish a number of the method remotely.
Healthy habits and protocols
Once it became available, many drivers were given personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and gloves in order that they could follow safety guidelines when coming in-tuned with others. In some cases, temperature checks are a part of the daily routine when truckers reach distribution centers or delivery points. That’s all likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Even when mask-wearing and health assessments aren’t any longer necessary, cleaning and disinfecting procedures will possibly still be required.
The industry outlook may be uncertain for now because the pandemic rages on, but like other sectors, it’s finding ways to adapt. Despite the challenges within the industry this year, the long run of trucking in Canada should recover as things gradually improve, although things may look a bit different going forward. One thing is for sure: the pandemic has helped to focus on the important role that the industry plays in ensuring people have access to the foremost crucial supplies they have for survival.