The COVID-19 virus remains the main concern for all sectors across the globe, including the transportation industry. While the impact on the industry is still largely uncertain, we can predict that things will continue to change.
According to recent research, 15 percent of transportation companies are experiencing some restrictions in their daily activities and 9 percent are having to change business processes, such as introducing work from home (WFH) or cancelling projects. And, the majority of respondents in a Morgan Stanley survey believe that the virus’ impact will be growing in the coming months, such as the decrease in volume of goods to transport. Despite this, there is still the high demand from retailers needing to restock empty shelves in supermarkets which boosts the domestic transportation industry.
The COVID-19 virus has also caused significant delays in international transportation due the closure of borders in Europe and the strengthening of the border restrictions, such as temperature measurements for drivers. As this might disrupt the delivery of living essentials and medicines, the European Union proposed the introduction of “green lanes” for convoys with emergency goods in an effort to get them to their final destination faster. Transportation companies operating within affected regions will feel the negative impacts. For instance, trucks returning from areas like Italy or Spain will have minimal goods to deliver, which will affect overall revenue.
Due to region-wide quarantines, eCommerce is becoming the king of the economy and is essential as people are ordering online to stay away from brick-and-mortar locations. As such, Amazon is hiring an additional 100,000 warehouse workers to handle all orders. And, as the number of online orders continues to rise, the transportation sector must be ready to deliver. Combined with border closures, transport and logistics companies must navigate this new growth and a new reality, which is less-than-truckload shipments (LTL). Companies can no longer wait to gather a full truckload as the demand is pressing. The LTL influences the cost efficiency of transportation companies and pushes them towards consolidation. This trend is expected to grow an estimated 5 percent during the remainder of 2020 and allows optimization of the delivery costs by sharing one truck between different deliveries.
While this consolidation optimizes costs, it does add a level of complexity. Automation can help to manage business more efficiently. The track-and-trace functionality gives information about the location, allowing for the delivery time to be better planned. Ordering platforms help to consolidate multiple trucks and even companies. These platforms used to be a nicety for big organizations as they had their systems integrated, into telematics, fleet management and CRMs. But now, even small companies use platforms for collaboration and efficiency, such as route planners and tolls ordering portals. This is especially crucial for the time being as work from home policies have been introduced for the majority of companies in Europe. The use of a portal simplifies the remote work for fleet managers.
MSTS Tolls is here to help during this uncertain time. We streamline business processes for transportation companies with our advanced self-service portal that allows fleet managers to easily manage tolls payments for all their trucks 24/7.