The Trucking Industry’s Roadmap for Economic Recovery

Last month, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) went before the United States Senate Commerce Committee to outline a roadmap for economic recovery and how the trucking industry will spearhead the initiative.

During the Senate hearings, Randy Guillot, the chairman of the ATA, made the following statement:

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the trucking industry has been thrust to the forefront of our national consciousness. While most activity ground to a halt across the country, America’s 3.5 million professional truck drivers kept moving. These heroes continue serving on the frontlines, ensuring everyone has the goods they need to get through these challenging times.

We hear the term ‘essential’ more frequently of late—as America wakes up to the gravity of what essential truly means. Truckers are the difference between a fully-stocked grocery store and one lined with empty shelves. They’re why doctors and nurses have PPE to protect themselves. They’re how test kits get to hot-spots for local officials to use to fight the virus’ spread.”

Transportation Projects

The pandemic caused a lot of disruption to our economy, but it also opened up opportunities. Since fewer people are traveling and fuel consumption has dropped, the ATA is pushing for a renewal of the FAST Act, as well as for funds to be placed into highway and infrastructure projects. Roads, highways, and parking can be improved during the “down time” caused by the pandemic, which will make trucking routes much more efficient.

Incentives for Cleaner Trucking

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a drop-off in fuel taxes as well as downward pressure in themarket for Class 8 vehicle purchases. Part of the economic recovery hearings included provisions for cleaner and more fuel-efficient trucks. The economy will require fleets and owner-operators to get back up to speed without pouring a good portion of their revenue into equipment and fuel. Cleaner fuel, electric trucks, and more fuel-efficient engines will not only help the trucking industry in the short-term, but also help to protect supply chains against future crises.

Training Truckers for Economic Recovery

Unemployment in almost every sector skyrocketed during the pandemic. People were deemed “non-essential” or were furloughed from their jobs. The ATA put forth that there should be federal incentives to mitigate unemployment rates by promoting incentives to get people into the trucking industry. Prior to the pandemic, the trucking industry was already in need of more drivers, and getting currently unemployed people behind the wheel would make economic recovery a much faster process.

The Senate, Congress, and the Administration have yet to weigh in on the plan proposed by the ATA, but Single Point Capital will continue to report developments as things unfold.