A recent American Truck Business Services (ATBS) survey of more than 300 owner-operators highlights the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the businesses, as well as the application of federal relief programs and relaxed regulations.
In terms of financial aid to their businesses, 81% of owner-operators received the $1,200 Economic Impact Payment, 53% applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, and 30% received some other type of funding.
The majority of respondents have not had to operate outside of normal regulations during the crises, with 87% saying they have not had to drive beyond hours of service rules, 95% have not had to operate with an expired CDL, and 96% have not had to haul a load above weight limits.
Freight volume and rates are a different story, with freight volumes dropping by 50% or more for 35% of the owner-operators surveyed, 11% claiming freight is nonexistent, and 47% stating that freight rates have dropped by 30% or more. But, 65% of the businesses are still operating during the pandemic, and only 6% have had to furlough employees or independent contractors.
The COVID-19 virus has not affected 83% of respondents, who said that they have not had any issues finding masks or other personal protective equipment for themselves or their employees. In terms of freight type, 36% of drivers have moved relief freight related to COVID-19.