At the beginning of 2020, trucking leaders were some of the first to make business decisions based on early market bellwethers, before the coronavirus became the world's biggest story.
On March 3, 2020, FTR reported preliminary North American Class 8 orders for February fell an unexpected 20% from January.
"It appears fleets have decided to delay some orders until the health crisis has passed," Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles for FTR, said in a news release accompanying the report.
A year later, the health crisis still hasn't passed. But trucking firms are betting that it will soon. Transport firms are staffing up and making other preparations for anticipated volumes related to recovery from the virus.
The path to a post-pandemic trucking economy hasn't been, and likely won't be, straightforward or uniform for all stakeholders.
The stories below function as a timeline — accounts of what transport analysts and executives were saying at this time last year, and how the industry is trending now.