COVID-19 Impacts on the Trucking Industry

The primary objective of this research was to understand the immediate operational impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic had on trucking operations in the United States. The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) and the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA) Foundation developed a collaborative research methodology for ascertaining pandemic effects on supply chains, trucking operations and truck drivers in particular. ATRI and OOIDA jointly developed a trucking industry survey that identified a range of operational and financial issues that were being impacted by the pandemic. The survey was designed to obtain the perspectives of multiple labor categories in trucking, from truck drivers to dispatchers to senior executives. The survey generated approximately 5,100 usable responses. Findings revealed that average trip lengths decreased during the pandemic, while truck travel speeds at the worst traffic chokepoints increased due to reduced congestion as motorists sheltered in place. Freight levels were also impacted, with certain sectors of the industry experiencing both dramatic decreases and increases in specific commodity volumes during the pandemic. The survey analysis also revealed that small fleets were not prepared for a significant impact on their operations. Nearly 80 percent of owner-operators and fleets with fewer than five power units reported that they did not have any disaster plan in place prior to COVID-19, whereas 70 percent of large fleets reported that they had business continuity plans in place. This lack of preplanning provides an opportunity for operational “best practices” research to inform disaster planning for small fleets going forward.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 16p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01763631
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-00839
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 4 2021 10:57AM