Quarterly Trends Report

Q2 2020: COVID-19’s toll on US trucking industry

  • Multi Asset
  • Industrials
  • Global

Despite 2019 being a challenging year for US trucking, revenues of USD 791.7bn represented 80% of the nation’s total freight bill.* Described as the “lifeblood of the US economy” by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the industry has shown some signs of resilience during COVID-19 — but has also felt, and continues to feel, the myriad challenges associated with lockdowns and the broader economic downturn. Third Bridge Forum conducted several Interviews in Q2 2020 to gauge the impact of the pandemic and the road to recovery.

Many trucking companies enjoyed a surge in cargo demand as consumers stockpiled basic goods at the height of lockdowns. But on the other end of the spectrum, consumer confidence was dampened by intensifying economic uncertainty, resulting in an overall nose-dive in spending as the months went on, particularly across big-ticket items such as furniture and cars. “The unemployment numbers are unprecedented in my lifetime… and it’s going to continue to get worse. It’s impacting our supply chain so dramatically,” a former VP at XPO Logistics, Inc. said. 

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