An Uncharted Start to Trucking in 2021

January 11 2021

Last year, I wrote this blog, An Uncertain Start to Trucking in 2020, detailing in January the uncertainties 2020 would bring to the industry. I closed this blog by saying, “The freight industry very much mirrors what is happening in our stock market and economy. The layers of uncertainty within our country will shift how the transportation industry continues throughout the rest of 2020. No matter the often-turbulent times of the industry, we will always stay moving, regardless of the ambiguous start to the year.”

When writing that blog on January 6, 2020, we had no idea just how uncertain 2020 was going to get. The events that transpired in the months following have been unlike any year in history. After seeing this blog from Logistics Management titled, “2021 presents a blank logistics canvas with many colors to tell new stories,” I was reminded of my old post. Now, we’re 11 days into the new year and “it is time to buckle up for what should be an incredibly interesting 2021 in the logistics, freight transportation, and supply chain sectors. But with a blank canvas of the New Year in front of us, we need to look at the myriad ‘paints’ that will color what is ahead of us,” as Logistics Management says.

With this in mind, I asked some of the Kingsgate Family what “paints” or themes they hope or think they’d see in 2021. Here’s what they said:

  • “I hope to see 2021 bring a bit more steadiness to the market. Though, I do not see us going back to the ‘normal''’ we had in 2019 and early 2020. The pandemic has definitely created challenges and 2021 will still be feeling those challenges. However, I am seeing more and more industries react more effectively to those challenges now than in early 2020. I hope to see this new normal - however it may look - with more predictability and consistency as we all, trucking companies, logistics providers, shippers/receivers/warehouses, are creating our new effective ‘''normal.’” – Melissa B.
  • “This will definitely be an interesting year. Being only a few days into the year, winter, and coming off the holiday rates, it is kind of hard to tell right now. A lot of definite unknowns this year for sure. I will say seeing the way that our team pulled through the end of the year, the future does look somewhat brighter than what it has been.” – Eric S.

It goes without being said, COVID did not disappear with the new year and will still provide challenges to the supply chain and transportation industry. For instance, the stay-at-home orders and social distancing recommendations pushed consumers towards e-commerce purchasing and with e-commerce trending upwards prior to the pandemic, this trend will likely stay in the future. Additionally, there are the changes the incoming Administration will add to the industry.

There are many unknowns that I’m sure 2021 will bring about, but after last year, these next 12 months of uncharted moments are ours to make the most of. What I said last year still rings true today, “no matter the often-turbulent times of the industry, we will always stay moving, regardless of the ambiguous start to the year.”

All the Best,

Jeff Beckham

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