You don’t need to be a member of the global trade community to have heard the news of the cross-border trucker vaccine mandate. With supply chains already in a compromised position due to COVID slowdowns and trucker shortages, there are concerns that the mandate will only worsen the situation.
In essence, the mandate sets parameters for truckers needing to provide proof of vaccination upon entry into Canada or be required to quarantine for 14 days. Even if the trucker in question is entering the country to perform trucking services.
The mandate was put forth as a means to protect people amid continued pandemic-related concerns. However, the mandate means that trucking systems must be forced to adapt to keep the supply chain running smoothly. Industry professionals are encouraging truckers to get their vaccine, so as to not have their work be affected.
Upon hearing the news of the mandate, the Canadian Trucking Alliance released a statement that it’s expected for them to lose between 10-15% of their cross-border commercial trucker workforce. The American Trucking Association is also warning that their numbers could be as high as 37% lost trucking staff. There are currently 40,000 licensed truckers in the US that move goods between Canada and the US and 120,000 Canadian truckers that do the same.
70% of trade between the countries is done via trucking, so any issues related to the trucking systems can have a massive negative impact. In order to protect our US-Canadian supply chains, these issues must be addressed sooner than later.
The US is currently looking at implementing a similar mandate for Canadian truckers coming to the US as well, further impacting the movement of goods between borders.
The American Trucking Association stated:
“The American Trucking Associations believes in expanding access to the COVID-19 vaccine and encourages vaccination for all members of the trucking workforce who choose to do so. However, we have serious concerns about the impact of a federal mandate and the unintended consequences it will create.”
Understanding the process and challenges that might arise is incredibly important, and it can make a huge difference in the long term. Needless to say, many supply chains might be affected, and that’s why it’s important to tackle the issue. If things get worse, there can be times when you can end up without products in stores, but that might not happen until later on.
For now, those truckers that can show a negative test can be exempt from quarantine, but the truth is that without vaccination, soon they might not be able to cross the border unless they quarantine. Having the right system in place and bringing in vaccinated truckers to continue moving through the border might be a solution, but a temporary one.
What we see right now is the fact that not all truckers want to vaccinate, and if they don’t, then eventually some of the supply chains will be affected. That’s why addressing the problems adequately can indeed make a huge difference all the time. With time, this might lead to issues like higher prices and all kinds of similar problems that we must avoid. We don’t know how much time it will take until challenges like this might arise, but it’s important to note that vaccination is becoming mandatory in the case of many industries!
Not much is known about the ramifications of such a mandate, but staying informed is going to be critical to adapting to situations as they develop. To stay up-to-date with the latest, stay connected with a customs broker.