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Monday May 11, 2020 - 18:10:14 GMT -

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How Will Coronavirus Impact the Global Transport Industry?


There is scarcely an industry on the planet that has been untouched by the coronavirus pandemic, and one of the hardest hit is the transport industry. In the modern age, Planet Earth is the most connected it has ever been. Our intricate global transport network brings every corner of the world together. But this has been both one of the biggest accelerants and solutions to the current crisis. On the one hand, easy global travel has allowed the virus to spread between countries rapidly. But on the other, it means that, more so than any other time in history, we can quickly and efficiently bring resources to those in most need.

So what changes are we likely to see in the transport industry as a result of COVID-19?

A relax in regulations

Many industries have stepped up in this troubling time to do their bit towards flattening the curve and helping those in need. The transport industry has been a major contributor. There are lots of heartwarming stories about various companies in the automotive sector using their equipment to produce and distribute ventilators. 

Acknowledging the part the transportation industry plays in keeping the economy going and providing much-needed services, regulations have been relaxed in many countries. Countries like the UK have temporarily relaxed drivers’ hours regulations and tachograph rules to ensure the economy can keep moving forward as much as possible. It is unclear whether things will immediately go back to normal post-coronavirus or if transport laws will remain in a constant state of flux to accommodate for any future catastrophes.

A change in mindset

Not all change is for the bad. Some good can come out of even the worst situations. The coronavirus pandemic constitutes one of the most significant paradigm shifts in recent history, and it’s not an exaggeration to say the way we live will never be the same. In such a short space of time, the planet has changed in unprecedented ways, one of which is the recovery of nature. 

We have seen much in the news about how reduced emissions due to lockdown has led to clearer skies, cleaner rivers and healthier air. When the economy kicks back into life again, people will want to preserve these environmental gains, making the planet a better, greener place to live. Transport emissions are one of the biggest personal impacts an individual can have on the environment so what better way to do some good for the planet than to go electric? Electric car sales have been growing steadily over the last few years without yet taking off completely. Once all this is over, we may well begin to see the electric revolution come into full force.

This greener instinct may also see a sustained fall in the number of cars on the road overall - both electric and fuel-based. People are being encouraged to undertake all essential travel by foot or by bike where possible. Combine this with the uptake in at-home exercise, and there is a good chance we will see more people taking the opportunity to walk and cycle instead of taking the car.

The effects of coronavirus on the transport industry and beyond will be far-reaching. It’s impossible to predict precisely how the world will be affected in years to come, but it’s safe to say that transport will look very different.


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