Experts are optimistic regarding the trucking industry’s outlook for 2021, with optimization for currently struggling sectors to bounce back once vaccines are distributed. Additionally, 2021 could likely see gains in specific sectors, particularly when it comes to those involved in COVID-19 vaccine delivery. Here is how trucking will further play a vital role in 2021, as well as both the logistical challenges and safety concerns involved.
Trucking and the COVID Vaccine
While trucking has played an essential role in the coronavirus pandemic in terms of essential deliveries, it’s also going to play a large role in delivering the long awaited vaccines. Nevertheless, there have been a number of challenges when it comes to the logistics — things like the strict temperature needs of the vaccine, and other important issues such as capacity constraints. Labor issues in terms of driver shortages highlight another big challenge within the industry, as closures due to the virus have prevented many from obtaining the proper training to become drivers. However, despite the challenges presented to the industry amidst the pandemic, there are efforts being made to rectify this, including the specialized pallets developed by Pfizer to maintain vaccine temperature.
A rise in safety concerns
It’s also necessary to keep in mind that there is a rise in concerns involving safety when it comes to truck drivers. For example, in addition to the concerns of drivers contracting the virus themselves (such as during rest stops/gas stations, during deliveries, and via high contact surfaces and shared work materials), driver mental health and wellness is another major concern. For instance, high levels of stress could be associated with the many issues that the industry is encountering nowadays (such as driver shortages). Driver fatigue is yet another noteworthy concern, as it can lead to a heightened chance of an accident and the subsequent filing of a truck accident report, a document used to prove fault in an accident. With that in mind, driver health and wellness must take a front seat, and the proper precautions (like getting enough sleep and wearing a mask) must be taken.
Certain sectors in the trucking industry may see some gain in 2021 — such as with those involved in delivering medical supplies like vaccines. However, it’s imperative to take into account that the industry has also faced (and continues to face) challenges regarding logistics, labor shortages, and an increased concern for safety.