The pandemic thrust transport into the spotlight. When cities and states across the country locked down, some trucks kept hauling items from point A to point B. And as more loads — from toilet paper, to food, to big-and-bulky e-commerce — needed transport, the more capacity was squeezed.
"I can tell you with 100% certainty that the capacity crunch is real," YRC CFO Jamie Pierson told analysts in August. "We are having difficulty recruiting drivers to keep up with the increase in volume."
YRC was not alone this year in its recruitment struggles. The driver shortage ranked No. 1 in the American Transportation Research Institute's list of industry concerns for the year.
Market swings were so significant that some fleets that furloughed drivers near the start of the pandemic couldn't get them back fast enough when volume flooded the boards. The tightened capacity emphasized the importance of fleets keeping their drivers already on the payrolls happy.
Take a look at the collection of stories below and read about how the pandemic exacerbated the driver shortage this year, and how fleets worked to recruit and retain drivers.