Alabama, Florida, and other states have started to lift restrictions on their stay-at-home mandates, and other states are slated to follow throughout the month of May. Reopening states is not only a sign of confidence after the fist wave of coronavirus-related illnesses, but it could be a shot in the arm our economy needs to strengthen supply chains in the United States.
Increased Demand for Goods
Over the past two months, demand for everything but the bare necessities has diminished. People simply weren’t purchasing like they were at the end of last year or the first quarter of 2020. Demand increased for medical supplies and equipment, food, and similar items, but goods like clothing, electronics, and personal vehicles dropped off the radar. However, reopening states is an effort to get businesses up and running again, and the trucking industry will be there to haul goods to stores. Part of the decreased demand was partially due to lack of availability. After the first two weeks of certain goods either being completely out of stock or experiencing cost-prohibitive price increases due to scarcity, customers simply stopped trying to purchase those items. Reopening states and allowing industries to start operating will once again make those items available and demand will resume.
Reopening States Will Not Happen Overnight
Reopening states will not be an overnight process. Some states started reopening at the end of April. Others are waiting until the middle or end of May. And there are some states that are in an indefinite lockdown until either there is a vaccine or a greatly reduced number of COVID-19 cases. Still, there is concern that opening up too soon might set off a second wave of infection. Fortunately, the trucking industry has been working closely with shippers and clients to ensure that conditions are as safe as possible when loading, unloading, and transporting goods.
By reopening states with safety measures in place, we could see an uptick in the economy, and the trucking industry could be in full swing by the third quarter of 2020.