COVID-19 has changed the dynamics of the commercial trucking industry practically overnight. Now, what you’re hauling could determine the success of your business.

Some commodities have nearly cratered in demand while others have skyrocketed. Continue reading to see what’s most and least in demand during this pandemic.

A Bumpy Road

The only certainty during the COVID-19 pandemic is—unpredictability. The peak of the first lockdown in March was a total disaster.

However, the trucking industry rallied quickly, and demand shot to new heights as truckers kept goods flowing across the country.

Not long after that, in June, the number of loads that needed to be moved began to plummet. The industry is in fluctuation, and the new normal is finding and hauling the right type of goods.

Retail Stays Steady

So far, loads for retail goods have remained steady. This is mostly because consumer shopping never stopped, although consumers moved online.

During the height of the pandemic, retail hauls grew in demand but then fell sharply. Analysts believe that after the initial stockpiling of goods, demand fell.

Luckily it’s been back on the rise since June and will likely stay that will until the end of the holidays.

Energy Is Dropping

Even before COVID-19, coal shipments have been falling, but it’s doubtful that there will be much coal transport in the post-COVID world.

Much of this is due to competitive energy such as renewable energy. Before COVID, natural gas from fracking was in huge demand, and so was oil and gas.

However, demand for oil and gas has fallen a staggering 30%. Now that the pandemic has moved many jobs online and destroyed others, fewer cars are on the road.

As many analysts have predicted, many of the jobs that moved online will likely stay that way. That makes the future of oil and gas shipments a wildcard.

Manufacturing Non-Existent

Once the pandemic hit, hauling manufactured goods became a rare occurrence. In the initial lockdown, only essential products were being ferried across the country.

Hauling manufactured goods was already at a low even before the pandemic. During the past 20 to 30 years, most manufacturing was sent offshore to China, East Asia, and Mexico.

The only way there will be an increase in manufactured goods is if the US brings the manufacturing jobs back to the US, which doesn’t seem likely.

Food and Medicine

The two types of freight that have stayed consistent and skyrocketed are food and medicine. These two types of hauls are currently keeping the country afloat.

During the height of the lockdown and after, the demand for food and medicine skyrocketed.

Medical shipments have soared because the COVID crisis hasn’t let up since the beginning of the year. Wave after wave of the virus, healthcare items and medicines keep flowing across the country.

Once vaccine production gets underway, there will be an even higher demand for hauling medical goods.

Uncertain Future

The future of the commercial trucking industry remains uncertain. However, many of the problems the industry was having became worse during the pandemic.

Shifting demand means that only certain types of loads will be worth the effort. Looking forward, it seems like the recovery path for many trucking companies depends on their customers and the types of goods they ship.

What You’re Hauling Determines Your Success in The COVID-19 World was last modified: by