2021 Recovery Trends for the Trucking Industry
The trucking industry was heavily disrupted by the pandemic in 2020, but it has rebounded in 2021. The industry has experienced increased demand for freight services driven by the high demand for consumer goods. However, the recovery has been hampered by capacity constraints caused by a reduction in driver and equipment supply.
The trucking industry has endured driver shortages since the start of the pandemic. The reduction in commercial driver training and licensing due to changes in drug and alcohol testing and the pandemic means that the number of drivers has reduced by almost 200,000. This has resulted in reduced capacity for most trucking companies. The truck driver shortage is likely to continues due to increased demand for delivery services and jobs in the construction sector driven by the ambitious government infrastructure program.
Increased Demand for Freight Services
Experts predict that the trucking industry will experience full recovery in terms of trucking loads by the third quarter of 2021. The spot market has already achieved full recovery but only represents a third of the truck freight market. The increased demand for freight is driven by the surge in online shopping during the pandemic, which has remained stable even after the authorities eased restrictions on movement. Indeed, local deliveries account for a third of new jobs added to the economy since the start of the pandemic.
Increased Operational Costs
Experts predict that trucking companies will experience contract rate increases of between eight and 15% in 2021. The cost increments will be driven by increased demand for freight and driver shortages. Spot rates are likely to remain high throughout the year and surge upwards during the holiday season. Meanwhile, the slow recovery of the industrial sector means that most freight companies will endure capacity constraints making it hard to achieve pre-pandemic freight volumes.
RA Trucking helps customers fulfill freight demand by offering local and nationwide deliveries. Contact us to discuss your trucking and logistics needs.