Sponsored: COVID-19 - impact on the haulage industry

We have never seen a modern global shift in all industries like the one we have seen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The haulage industry is no exception to this rule with both a huge economic impact and massive process changes being apparent across the board.

In this article, we explore some of the impacts of COVID-19 on the haulage industry and what the future may look like as a result.

Pandemic impact

Haulage is a wide-reaching industry, with various aspects being impacted to different extents.

For example, in the building space haulage has been drastically cut as a result of building sites being shut as part of lockdown. Those who supply specialist equipment to the building trade, like MHF UK, are also seeing a dip in the sales of specialist haulage equipment.

However, due to the nature of the pandemic and the resulting lockdown, other aspects of the haulage industry like food suppliers and consumer delivery services have seen a steep increase in demand.

International transportation

One area that has and will see a continued impact from the pandemic is that of international transportation. According to the UK government:

“International and domestic freight transport (including by air, ship, road and rail, including roll-on/roll-off transports) is classified by UK government as an essential activity in the context of its travel advice.”

Although this indicates that there should be little disruption to the international haulage space, it is of course also subject to the rapid change in customer habits and the restricted movement within the countless industries that rely on international haulage.

Transportation across international borders has also become increasingly difficult and time-consuming as lower staff levels and higher levels of checks become a pinch point.

Driver safety and prevention

With economic and logistical issues aside, the physical implications of a global pandemic are also having a great impact on the haulage industry. With many drivers and haulage equipment keeping our country moving at this difficult time, the health and safety of our drivers are now more important than ever.

Drivers should and are taking every precaution necessary at the moment. As the availability of testing increases over time, it is likely that we will see essential workers like haulage drivers being regularly tested.

The future

The future is uncertain when it comes to COVID-19. It is unlikely that we will see the world return to complete normality until a vaccine or other cure can be found. However, as our understanding of the virus develops we will also likely see a relaxing of the rules, aiming to get the economy back working again.

COVID-19 has already had a massive impact on the economy and specifically on the haulage industry. It is unclear how long it will before this goes back to normal. The shortage of haulage work in the building space may be able to benefit the increase in demand in the delivery of food, medical equipment and other essentials, but only if smart businesses can find a way to efficiently transfer labour and skills.