Last year was certainly challenging for most people thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. So many things got cancelled and/or “shut down,” whether temporarily or permanently. Millions of Americans stayed home for weeks, or months in some cases, because they were told to do so in order to stop the spread of the dreaded virus. But, as we now know, the virus kept on spreading, even after “social distancing” and wearing masks in public became the new norm.
The trucking industry was so important to Americans during 2020, because without truckers, there wouldn’t have been groceries at places like Walmart for people to buy, take home (or have delivered), eat and… live. In many ways, 2020 became a year to just survive for most people. They had to “live” without so many things, from normal family get-togethers to live rock concerts, movies in theaters to sporting events in stadiums, and then some.
What to Expect in 2021
So how’s the trucking industry looking for 2021? Truckers will deliver goods people need and want. It should be a good year for carriers amid high freight rates. Despite some rising insurance costs, coupled with higher driver wages, diesel prices are down and revenue per shipment is up, so it all kind of evens out in the end. Think of it this way: it could be a lot worse– companies could have shut down for good and let go of thousands of employees, but, thankfully, that’s not the case.
While 2020 was a tough year for most industries, including trucking, 2021 looks to be a better year in general– a time to recover from last year’s craziness. Those who were “down” didn’t stay down too long… for instance, demand for hauling goods for retailers took a little hit last year, but now there’s pent-up demand and more people are willing to go out to stores and buy things rather than stay at home worrying constantly about the pandemic… So, this could be classified as a “V-shaped recovery.”
Additionally, e-commerce freight volumes keep rising, with more and more shipments needing to be expedited. Any trucker hauling “essential goods” in 2021 will be a very busy driver, for sure.
One thing the trucking industry still deals with, despite having years to “fix,” is the ongoing driver shortage. The pandemic, by the way, led to even more driver retirements than normal years… and driving schools have had to operate at half-capacity thanks to COVID-related constraints. And the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which began in 2020, means 40,000 fewer drivers in the workforce. Basically, the trucking industry in 2021 needs more young, drug-free, willing to work drivers!
Whether you’re a truck driver in need of a job or truck driving placement agency in need of reliable drivers, learn how the experts at Platinum Drivers can help.