The transportation industry is facing unprecedented challenges that could significantly disrupt supply chains in the coming months.

Just as things seem to be settling down in the wake of COVID19, we face potential strikes and closures of some of the major players in our industry.

Notably, UPS is at risk of a work stoppage. YRC, though avoiding an immediate strike, grapples with significant financial issues and the possibility of closure. These events could create a perfect storm of disruptions, especially as we approach the peak season.

Having lived through the last major strike in 1997, I can attest to the impact it can have. The work stoppage was 15 days of absolute chaos that took months to recover from.

Heading into this tumultuous time, it is important to secure relationships with reliable partners. When the major players in our business are unsteady it is key that the smaller companies communicate and work together to minimize the impact. Trucking is the backbone of our country’s economy and when it breaks down the consequences are felt by everyone. Resource diversity and communication may be the difference between success and failure.

Over my decades in the transportation industry, a few truths have become evident: There will always be another disruption and in times of uncertainty, strong partnerships can make all the difference. I have heard the quote, "Problems can become opportunities when the right people come together." It is time to start solidifying alliances with and even reaching out to competitors. In times of uncertainty, fostering collaboration and partnerships can spell the difference between survival and succumbing to disruptions.

Working together we can weather the storm, build new relationships, and minimize the chaos caused by the latest disruption.

Author: Scott Klever, Executive Vice President of Sales, Sterling Transportation