After unprecedented gains in 2020, which were overshadowed by COVID-19, many in the trucking industry are excited about the outlook for 2021. The trucking industry expects to see an increase in sectors such as final-mile delivery, contracting, home improvement, and overall E-commerce. The American Trucking Associations, Chief Economist Bob Costello says, “I think freight will remain decent in 2021. On the good side, the vaccine will help return to ‘normal,’ which means sectors that are currently hurting like services and manufacturing can bounce back”. This is great news for an industry that at the start of this pandemic in 2020 saw sales of Class 8 trucks fall by 24.3% in the first quarter, and 51.2% in the second quarter.
According to U.S. Xpress CEO and President Eric Fuller, there may be a couple factors that could affect this expected increase in 2021. One of these factors is the increasing shortage of drivers. Many believe this is a direct effect of the pandemic according to the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, “40% fewer CDLs are being issued due to school closures, and closures of testing centers,” with the COVID-19 vaccine approved , many hope that this problem could be solved and we are able to return to a sense of normalcy in the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2021.