The economy has changed in the face of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) which brings many challenges to small trucking and logistics companies. Is there a way to choose your customers or who you haul loads for? Well if you're lucky enough to dial it in, there are some areas that are booming.
As various parts of the supply chain become hampered by limits to import volume from China and various industries winding down (like the auto industry for example) there are many sectors that are winding up or having record volume of both business activity and freight.
Some of these might seem obvious but it's worth mentioning these sectors and other concepts that will help you continue to operate and even grow your business during this unprecedented time in history.
So what are "staple" industries right now?
The obvious ones are thought of as related to food, but generally, we think that these sectors will stay stable or even grow in volume, which could potentially offset some of the volume depression in the freight market.
As we have seen with WTI crude oil hitting negative levels, some areas of the economy that were previously "booming" have cooled off or gone off of a demand cliff. A lot of this can be deduced by common sense.
- Food and Produce
- Medical equipment and supplies
- Products that support farming and agriculture
- Defense contractors
Some are more counter-intuitive, but would not be considered staple products. Since almost no retail, aside from essentials and some other related products, are really selling and grocery and food stores are the only walk-in stores that are definitely staying open regardless of counties or states that are trying to reopen in a patchwork, you'll have to look carefully.
If the business you're looking to haul loads is entirely e-commerce based they may actually be having a boom. This could be a good customer so ask them honest questions.
As with any customer selection, credit should be a top consideration. For more help with credit decisions and ensuring that you get paid or can pay your carriers quickly let us know and we'll be able to help you out with our HaulPay product.
In the meantime stay safe and keep hauling where you can.