The American Transportation Research Institute in a joint effort with the OOIDA Foundation is releasing new data that quantifies the continued impacts of COVID-19 business disruptions on the trucking industry. The latest analysis looked at truck activity across six states from February 9 through the most recent week ending April 18, by converting its real-time truck GPS dataset into a truck activity index.
The analysis further documents the impacts of the stay-at-home orders that shut down major segments of the economy, with a resulting decline in April trucking operations.
- Of the six states analyzed, California had the earliest stay-at-home order issued on March 19. California also experienced the earliest upward spike in truck activity, occurring during the week of March 1. However, truck activity in California is now down 8.3 percent from early February.
- In Florida, Illinois, and New York, truck activity spiked the week of March 8 but is now down on average by over 10 percent from February 9.
- In Pennsylvania and Washington, truck activity spiked during the week of March 15 but is now down by an average of nearly nine percent from February 9.
There are initial positive signs. In New York, one of the earliest states to experience high numbers of cases, truck activity started a positive uptick during the week of April 12. Also, New York is working with neighboring states, including Pennsylvania on an economic reopening plan, so expect to see a trucking uptick regionally.
Seeing strong trucking signs reemerging from New York is particularly good to see as there were reports at the beginning of April of drivers afraid to service that hotspot, particularly New York City. Though it seems New York has turned a corner it is important that drivers know that there is an executive order in place mandating they wear a face covering when interacting with the public. Also, to better service the industry New York City has opened two rest areas specifically for truck drivers.