The world still faces a significant amount of uncertainty socially, culturally, and economically. The covid pandemic has infiltrated every aspect of modern life and created a list of problems across various sectors and industries. The trucking industry has faced its own challenges and must now contend with various policy attempts of domestic and foreign governments.
Because many truck drivers cross borders as part of their jobs—whether it’s to Mexico or Canada— the policies enacted in other countries in relation to covid 19 have an impact on the imports and exports moving across nations and on the hard-working folks that move those goods.
How is the trucking industry dealing with these policy changes and cross-border issues?
Let’s begin with domestic policy.
The American Trucking Association’s Position on Vaccine Mandates
There is a lot of debate in the country right now regarding federal mandates of the covid vaccine. The American Trucking Association took a clear position in the vaccine mandate debate. The Association has made it clear that they support the vaccines and encourage them but have serious concerns about the unintended consequences of a federal mandate.
The Association explains how truck drivers have been working the frontlines since the beginning of the pandemic. From the uncertain months in the Spring of 2020 through the rest of the tumultuous year and into 2021, truck drivers delivered medical supplies, PPE, food, water gasoline, and vaccines to their destination across the nation. Their priority, as they state on their website, is to continue working through any and all conditions to ensure that the U.S. population has what they need.
The Association compiled internal data that showed that applying a vaccine mandate across the board would threaten the industry more than help it. Their data suggest that enforcing a mandate would cause a spike in driver turnover, attrition, or resentment and would risk losing about 37% of the current driving workforce.
The American Trucking Association’s position was supported by various other state trucking associations including Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. They have taken their position to court in a lawsuit against the Biden administration.
Their reasoning behind their position include:
- The overwhelming amount of their workday that drivers spend alone in their cab.
- Time not spent indoors inside the truck cab is predominantly spent outdoors in lots, drop-off zones, etc.
- Truck drivers’ exceptional records of following safety protocols throughout the early days of the pandemic. Their data showed that the infection rate was 8.7%.
Questions of Cross-Border Crossings for Truck Drivers
In addition to driving across state lines and often traversing multiple states, truck drivers are often crossing borders into our Southern and Northern neighbors. Similarly, truck drivers of those countries often cross over into the United States. This fact has caused serious challenges to the industry as country policies differ.
Questions of Cross-Border Trucking Into Canada
Dominating the news at the moment is the issues happening with Canada and their stringent vaccine and quarantine requirements. Reuters reported on January 10, 2022, that Canadian Prime Minister resisted pressures to drop the mandates for cross-border truckers. Critics of this mandate have made it clear to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that imposing the mandate on all international drivers will increase driver and supply chain shortages, thereby creating a lack of goods and driving up prices of incoming goods from the United States.
According to the article, truckers entering Canada from the United States will have to show proof of vaccination starting on January 15th. That policy, according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, could force up to 16,000 drivers (10%) to quit their jobs and get off the road.
This policy is one of the first that is having reverberations across country lines. For the previous 20 months or so, truck drivers had been exempt from such policies because they were considered essential workers.
Newsweek reported that the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada’s internal polling data suggests that 56% of their drivers will not get vaccinated in response to this mandate. The industry experts are waiting to see what will happen as the policies start to go into effect the second week of January. According to some estimates, $511 billion of goods traded between the U.S. and Canada every year are transported by road. So the effects of the policies have a lot on the line.
Questions of Cross-Border Trucking From and Into Mexico
When it comes to truck drivers coming in from Mexico, the United States has adopted a policy of ensuring those drivers are vaccinated against covid. This policy was articulated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and it applies to non-U.S citizen travelers coming into the U.S. for essential and non-essential travel.
Mexico’s vaccine policy is no different. The Mexican authorities also require U.S. truck drivers going into Mexico to be vaccinated.
Trucking Compliance Questions? Go With a Trusted Company
While we do not make policy here at Border Trucking Compliance, we can help truck companies ensure compliance with trucking regulations as set by the USDoT and TxDot. Whether it’s title and registration or driver testing, we can help. The trucking industry is dynamic and adapts quickly to the changing demands of the modern world. We want to help you do it right!
When it comes to compliance, go with a trucking company you trust. Want to learn more about what we do and how we help truck drivers and truck companies meet regulations? Call Border Trucking Compliance today.