An accelerated shift away from brick-and-mortar shopping and toward e-commerce was perhaps one of the most pronounced economic impacts of the pandemic. This overall trend is here to stay, even as pandemic-related mandates and restrictions are lifted across the country.
Consumer behavior was unpredictable throughout much of the coronavirus pandemic. This time last year, widespread lockdowns and panic-buying sent the transportation markets on a monthslong roller-coaster ride.
The transportation industry is primed for uncertainty and well accustomed to chaos, but virtually every segment of the industry has experienced growing pains as consumer demand roared back to life in a new, recovering economy. Trucking capacity is tight and getting tighter. Multiple U.S. ports have experienced massive traffic jams in the first quarter of the year.
If the U.S. enters a recession, this shift toward e-commerce will likely keep the transportation industry moving despite any drop in volumes. That means the U.S. could be in for many more traffic jams and a long-term warehouse squeeze as companies work to adapt their infrastructure to an increasingly online-first world.