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Freight delivery services trucking along as demand for important goods and supplies surges

Semi Truck travels southbound on Highway 101 near Santa Maria on Friday morning (Dave Alley/KEYT)

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. -- The trucking industry is remaining strong in light of the current coronavirus pandemic.

"Trucks aren't stopping," said Jim Philson, of Western Trans Logistics. "If anything, the demand for trucks, for certain goods is sky high."

Philson runs the Arroyo Grande-based company that connects business with carriers that deliver freight.

"Refrigerated trailers that haul food and food supplies and essential goods, goods that hospitals need, healthcare workers need, those are in high demand," said Philson.

He added his business has seen a recent surge over the past several days.

"If you are in food and food ingredient hauling, you are in high demand and the money is good," said Philson. "In the last week, we've probably seen rates climb anywhere to 10 to 25 percent."

Philson also said that low fuel prices are helping some parts of the industry, but not everyone is cashing in.

"Depending on which industry they haul for, if you are in the oil and rigging business, it's not so good right now because of the slowdown and the price of a barrel of oil," Philson.

He also said that while some rigs are in need, others not so much.

"If you have a piece of equipment that you're hauling, non-essential equipment, you're probably sitting," said Philson.

As people head to grocery stores to stock up on supplies, he wants the public to remain confident shelves will continue to be re-stocked.

"People need to remain calm," Philson said. "The stores will be replenished and it will get to the point where the saturation meets up to the demand."

He also mentioned people will likely see fewer cars and more trucks on the road in the coming days.

"Trailers are moving," said Philson. "There's a bottleneck at some of the distribution centers with the influx of trailers coming in, but they are getting there and they are going out. They're out there and they're getting the stores replenished."

California / Economy / San Luis Obispo County / Santa Maria - North County

Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.