The Coronavirus put a tremendous amount of pressure on organizations in the transportation sector. The focus was shifted away from moving citizens and placed on moving core transportation systems with only skeleton crews. There was still the expectation of ensuring that freight and essential workers could get where they needed to go quickly. The effects of these shifts and pressure are still being felt today post-COVID. Let’s look at some of the ways the pandemic affected the transportation industry.

More Remote Teams

As with many sectors, the transportation industry now sees many more teams incorporating remote workers. Although traditionally, transportation was not an industry in which we saw many remote workers, organizations were forced during the pandemic to switch to remote work models. Following the pandemic, there are still many groups that have found having remote teams is beneficial in many ways.

High Priority Digitization

Many analysts and industry experts have noted that the pandemic accelerated the need for digitization in transportation. Some even estimate that it may have accelerated digitization efforts by as much as seven years. A report published by McKinsey & Company cites that this could be considered a leap in digitization that could be categorized as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This same report cited that 94% of the companies they surveyed claimed that this leap has helped them keep their operations running globally despite the pandemic and pandemic economic fallout.

Changes to Freight Lanes

Another big change is that the pandemic literally changed freight lanes. Manufacturers had to shift their production schedules and how and where they send products. This has in effect created entirely new freight lanes and eliminated others. This has also had an impact on long-standing relationships between certain organizations. This has also affected other industries such as the wooden moving crate industry.

Less Capacity for Cargo

Post-pandemic transportation systems are seeing a dramatic decrease in capacity as well. Some estimates from CDL training centers claim there could be up to 80,000 fewer truckers on the road as compared to just a year ago. Factors contributing to this decrease could include new drug testing guidelines, a 40% drop in CDL training, and retirements. As there are fewer drivers available, cargo capacity is tight. Trucking rates are at historic highs.

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