The State of Freight: Pandemic Drives Growth for Logistics, Shipping Industry

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, one of the most immediate and far-reaching phenomena in consumer behavior has been a rapid shift to e-commerce for day-to-day purchases, driving the demand for (and expectation of) fast, free shipping and competitive pricing to become almost ubiquitous overnight. Purchases that might have previously prompted a quick trip to a local department or convenience store are now being carried out online, impacting logistics and transportation markets as retailers push to minimize delivery times to the extreme in an effort to replicate the rapid satisfaction of an impulse purchase in a virtual context. 

Thrust Bearing Sales for Class 8 Truck Landing Gear Bounce Back

Trucking, warehousing, and air cargo have been a bright spot in the pandemic economy. Demand for warehouses rose as rapid increases in online sales drove competition for space to store and distribute goods. After the early pandemic days of uncertainty, however, heavy truck builds plummeted. These trucks are critical to transport product to and from these warehouses. Lutco supplies thrust bearings used in the landing gear on Class 8 trucks, the sales of which are often a reliable economic indicator.

two thrust bearings used in Class 8 truck landing gear systemsEarlier in the year, Class 8 truck production and sales tailed off significantly but have demonstrated a V-shaped rebound as sales surged during September in what could be viewed as a flash recession in the trucking industry. Pent-up market demand that grew during the shutdown has helped spur the late summer sales for truck OEMs. Barring any unexpected economic turmoil, sales are projected to remain strong through 2020 and into 2021. 

Current trends suggest that the warehouse industry will continue to grow. Consumer expectations have changed many companies’ supply chain models over the last decade. A growing number of online retailers such as Walmart, Costco, Home Depot, and eBay have already made strides redefining consumer expectations of same-day delivery. Global warehousing is in the midst of a boom and the shift to e-commerce shows no sign of slowing down. 


Rising Logistics Demand Increases Need for Reliable Ball Transfers, Bearings 

Leading the pack is Amazon, which has an extensive national network of distribution centers. Amazon has committed to opening additional fulfillment centers in the U.S., all of which are built with a significant number of loading docks for tractor-trailers. Each loading dock is fitted with a rolling steel door and a vehicle restraint utilizing Lutco bearings. 

While airline ticket sales have plummeted in response to lockdown restrictions and passenger safety concerns, one-day shipment is one of the drivers increasing air freight and commercial demand. Air cargo carriers are positioning their operations now to capitalize on the expected increase in shipments as the economy improves. 

The increase in e-commerce has been reflected in the demand for Lutco ball transfers as air cargo hubs expand at major airports worldwide. Lutco supplies a variety of critical parts from thrust and radial bearings, air cargo ball transfers, and custom bearing assemblies to all of these markets and is well-positioned to withstand a slowdown while remaining a stable and reliable supplier to our most critical industries.

Connect with Lutco for a reliable solution to your freight and logistics challenges today.

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