More than six months into the COVID-19 pandemic the trucking industry’s health is stronger than the U.S. economy, as segments used in final-mile delivery, e-commerce, and deliveries to grocery stores and hospitals thrive.
But the latest government reports show an economy continuing to struggle to recover amid a surge in the federal deficit and stubbornly high unemployment.
Transportation economists said shifts in normal schedules for areas ranging from construction to manufacturing to retail have bolstered trucking.
One of them is Stephen Burks, an economics professor at the University of Minnesota-Morris and a former less-than-truckload driver in the 1980s. “Some parts of trucking have come back much harder than anyone expected, much faster. They’re cooking,” Burks said. “But it’s uneven.”