Will the recent outbreak of coronavirus in China affect your trucking job?
The short answer is we don’t know. It’s far too early to tell.
If America does see effects on trucking jobs, experts think it may not be for a month or more.
There are a number of factors that are making it difficult to forecast the impact of coronavirus on trucking jobs in the US.
The coronavirus is a respiratory virus that recently appeared in Wuhan China. According to the New York Times, in severe cases, coronavirus causes lung lesions and pneumonia, but more mild cases show flu-like symptoms, so it can be hard to identify. So far, 17,000 people have gotten sick and more than 360 have died.
Cases have been already been reported in 10 countries, including the US.
How Coronavirus is affecting freight
The main impact of coronavirus on the market at this stage is on the Chinese economy. Air travel has dropped off. Factories are shutting down.
Plus, Wuhan is an inland province, so unless the virus becomes a huge problem across China, the effects are expected to be regional.
That being said, air travel and cargo to and from China have been affected already. Shippers don’t want to go in and there are bans on outgoing travel.
How Coronavirus might affect America
According to the Office of United States Trade Representative, our biggest imports from China include electrical machinery and household items, but China is also our third-largest supplier of agricultural goods. So the effects of coronavirus could be felt in all corners of the transportation industry.
As of last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) “does not recommend any travel or trade restriction based on the current information available.”
Despite this, travel and trade restrictions have already been put in place by many countries, including the US.
What to do about the coronavirus
More than likely the coronavirus will primarily impact the Chinese economy. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see some form of repercussions
Unfortunately, there is very little we can do to prepare your trucking job for what might happen.
Some experts have suggested trying to diversify your sources of freight if you haul a lot of products from China. If you can get ahead of the curve and start building new relationships, it may help you down the line.
We’ll keep you informed, but for the time being, we’ll all just have to hold our breaths.