COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the economy as a whole, but each industry is recovering at a different rate. Thus, according to experts, the freight transport industry is rapidly recovering compared to other economic sectors.
Moreover, it is recovering much faster than expected. The US trucking and logistics industry has dealt well with the disruptions caused by the epidemic. Still, companies continue to worry about how they can continue to operate in crisis times, avoiding large losses, thereby allowing the business to exist. At the same time, analysts note that due to the current situation, companies engaged in the transportation of retail goods have more advantages than companies that directly work with the industrial economy.
In terms of economic indicators, in the second quarter, road carriers' annual turnover fell by double-digit percentage points. Due to the prolonged pandemic, this can affect the industry, including both large and small carriers. In the second quarter, freight carriers' turnover rate with annual revenues over the US $ 30 million fell 12 percent to 82%. It is worth noting that it reached such a mark f at the end of 2018.
Smaller truck turnover rates fell 10 points to 60%. Lately, such an indicator was seen in the fourth quarter of 2011. The annual turnover rate for carriers carrying smaller trucks did not change in the second quarter and remained 12%.
Bob Costello, Chief Economist of the American Freight Forwarders Association, noted that "The coronavirus had a profound impact on the driver market – particularly in the first part of the second quarter. By the end of the quarter, we had begun to see the market tighten again as various restrictions began to be lifted." Also, he claimed, "After steep drops early, the driver market began to normalize toward the end of the quarter." "As the economy continues to recover, we should see the market for drivers continue to tighten going forward," Costello said.
Besides, experts note that freight is very uneven. In the consumer sector of the economy, statistics show significant growth, while in the field of transportation for energy and industry; on the contrary, there is a tendency to decrease. Carriers transporting heavy industrial products cut their traffic back in August.
But overall, analysts predict a strong recovery in the industry over the next few months, and experts predict that consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of the US economy, could have a significant impact on the freight market in the fall. At the same time, federal stimulus measures may affect market uncertainty regarding consumer spending.