The Friday Report: April 17th, 2020

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

New Tech Tools Ease Shortage of Overnight Rest Areas for Truck Drivers

Two companies, Trucker Tools and TruckPark announced that they have formed an alliance to aid truck drivers in finding safe parking facilities for overnight stays.  Trucker Tools is a technology solutions provider that provides cloud-based truckload freight management and carrier engagement tools to small-fleet operators and freight brokers.  By launching an “in app” access for TruckPark’s network of overnight commercial truck parking resources, Trucker Tools will provide greater visibility to this critical information in an easy-to-use format.

According to reports by the American Transportation Research Institute, truckers spend an average of an hour each day looking for available parking.  This equates to $4,600 in lost wages annually.  Trucker Tools software users will be able to access real-time truck parking reservation system without having to open another software application.  Truckers will be able to find, reserve, pay for and receive a digital receipt by using the system.  The secured parking is available at 100 privately-owned commercial parking across the United States.

State DOTs Provide Temporary Measures Designed to Help Truckers

Truckers are essential to keeping the supply chain working, making them, in effect, first responders.  To keep supply chains open, truckers must travel into the nation’s hotspots to transport and deliver goods to homebound consumers.  To aid truckers state departments of transportation (DOTs) in addition to the U.S. Department of Transportation are coming to their aid with several temporary measures that only apply to commercial vehicles that are providing direct assistance to COVID-19 relief efforts :

  • 19 states have temporarily waived hours-of-service restrictions
  • 22 states have temporarily relaxed truck size and weight limitations
  • Every state has kept at least some of its rest areas open
  • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has waived federal hours-of-service waivers are authorized in every state

How Retail May Adapt to the New Normal of the Covid-19 Outbreak

With the advent of sheltering in place and the view that this may continue for months, consumers have adjusted their buying habits, moving from in person retail visits to online shopping for many, if not most of the goods needed to sustain a family at home.  The big question is, will this change retail in the long term or is this simply a minor blip on the radar?

Here are some of the changes that may continue in the long term:

Consumers May Adopt a “Shop Local’ Approach

Many Americans are committed to keeping the dollars they spend in their local communities in order to sustain jobs and life as they know it.

More Consumers Will Opt for Online Grocery Shopping and Home Delivery or Curbside Pickup

Industry reports indicate a major spike in online grocery orders week-over-week.  The real question is whether consumers have developed a true appetite for the convenience of online grocery shopping.  Studies by Adobe indicate a 62% year-over-year increase from February 24th to March 2st, 2020, before the height of the stay at home trend.  Although retailers tend to prefer that consumers walk into their brick and mortar stores as this frequently leads to often unforeseen impromptu purchases, offering curbside pickup or home delivery service leads to benefits for retailers.

Purchases of In Home Convenience, Fitness, Home Offices and Entertainment Take Off

Consumers chained to their homes have already started to invest in home gyms, connected bikes and enhanced entertainment options.  If the coronavirus wanes and spikes, necessitating off and on again home quarantine, these purchasing patterns may continue.

For more, please continue reading here.

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