By now, you’ve probably been struggling to find toilet paper, facial tissue, hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol and even some basic grocery items as Americans have rushed to the store to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic. This rude awakening has brought many people a new level of awareness of the supply chain: how everyday items make their way from manufacturers into stores all over the country.
For truckers providing transportation services during COVID-19 in North Charleston, SC, that means their essential spot in the supply chain requires them to keep on truckin’ in a work environment unlike anything they’ve seen before. While most of America is being cautioned or required to stay at home, truckers are still out on the road.
Here’s a closer look at what’s changed for truckers since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the U.S.:
- Supply chain disruptions: The biggest change lately, of course, is the massive supply chain disruption. Most retailers have their ordering down to a science—they know exactly how much toilet paper and hand sanitizer to order to keep up with ordinary demand, as well as how to account for heightened demand during times like holidays or flu season. Today, however, stores can’t stock in-demand items fast enough—they rely on trucks to deliver the goods, but when everyone is ordering supplies all at once, demand overwhelms the supply. It’s not just retail, either—every business that relies on transported goods is seeing a major disruption. Even distribution centers are suffering from long lines.
- Less traffic: One bright spot in the situation: there’s less traffic in some of the country’s busiest metropolitan areas. The fewer people out on the road, the faster, smoother and safer the ride.
- Spot rates are going up: When you hire a last-minute truck, the price is called the “spot rate”—and thanks to COVID-19, the trucking industry has seen a noticeable spike. Spot rates are now averaging about 6 percent higher than normal, with no signs of falling anytime soon.
- Suspended DOT requirements: The U.S. Department of Transportation has relaxed its strict rules about how long drivers are able to work at any given time. While they’re still required to pull over when they feel tired and after they drop off goods, truckers who deliver essential supplies like medical gear, groceries, fuel and more no longer need to adhere to the 14-hour day/11-hour driving day maximum.
- Closed truck stops: Unfortunately, the shelter-in-place rules are closing some truck stops, which makes life on the road harder for drivers. Hot meals, showers and a place to sleep are necessary for long-haul truckers, but social distancing and sanitization requirements have shuttered some stops.
- Potential new health requirements: Finally, the new focus on sanitization affects workers in and out of their cabs as their companies strive to take protective measures.
Get help with transportation during COVID-19 in North Charleston, SC
All Points Transport has over a decade of experience offering intermodal and containerized transportation services in North Charleston, SC. We offer both international and domestic shipping solutions, including trucking, port drayage, hazmat shipping and other services. Find out more about our abilities and timing when you call today for an estimate.
Categorised in: Transportation Services