Despite smoother roads and less congestion, truck drivers are facing delays largely because of what Vaid said were huge spikes in demand for food and packaged goods. Still, Vaid said the U.S. supply chain, in particular, has proven itself capable of meeting that demand.
Referring to strains on the trucking system, Derek Leathers, CEO of Werner Enterprises, speaking to Bloomberg, said, "We've never had anything of this magnitude and this widespread. But we are open for business, and we need to stay that way."
The slowdowns at warehouses and elsewhere are not unique to the United States. Bloomberg reports long lines at the German-Polish border, as "just about everywhere, drivers' access to critical services has been reduced or even cut off. It's getting harder to find places to eat with restaurants shut down and rigs too big to go through drive-thru lanes. A decent place to sleep, shower or even use a clean toilet is becoming difficult to track down."
The decline in car traffic has led the average shipment times to run 2% faster in the United States and Europe, "likely a reflection of decreased traffic on the roads, as well as the recently enacted emergency waiver governing trucking hours of service (HOS) regulations," Vaid said.