Generally speaking, the trucking industry is extremely stable. No matter what happens, there will always be a need for logistics — consumers will always need products to get from point A to point B. For a long time, there weren’t many holes in the trucking industry. It was virtually bulletproof.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 came around and proved that the trucking industry was not untouchable. Things slowed down everywhere and small companies began to close as a driver shortage simultaneously continued to hurt companies.
And even though the pandemic is not as prevalent in 2022, it’s still having a huge impact on the trucking industry.
Here’s why trucking routes are taking much longer in China right now
In China, certain regions require drivers to receive a negative COVID-19 test before entering. This, in some cases, can take multiple days — usually at least 24 hours. For obvious reasons, this causes huge delays in the trucking industry.
This testing is specific to Drayage trucking which, according to CNBC, is “the critical piece of logistics where drivers transport raw materials, finished, or semi-finished goods.” The delays that these drivers are experiencing are having a ripple effect in China.
Here’s what Akhil Nair, SVP of SEKO Logistics in Pacific Asia, said about the current delays, according to CNBC.
“What happens is, if a particular district or area goes into a lockdown, the driver has to get a nucleic acid test or a PCR test. And that usually takes between 24 and 72 hours. So normally a truck route that will take a day or two can take as long as up to a week in some cases if you have the misfortune of getting stopped multiple times. That leads to complexity and basically a large amount of uncertainty within the trucking aspects.”
This test does not discriminate, either. Whether you’re showing symptoms or not, you have to take it. Whether you’re positive or negative, you have to wait for the PCR results to return.
Truckers in North America will hope that the same fate does not approach them anytime in the future.