There’s been a lot of news revolving around the trucking industry lately. The pandemic has really highlighted the importance of truckers to the stability and functioning of our society. And just like every other industry, the trucking sector has also been profoundly altered by the last couple of years. We thought we’d talk about some recent news that has affected the trucking industry and drivers.
What’s been happening in the trucking industry? Let’s take a look.
Rising Gas Prices Affect the Trucking Industry
On the minds of many Americans in March of 2022 is the rising gas prices at the pump. This not only affects people driving to work or driving to pick up their kids from school, but it also affects the truck driver and the companies transporting goods cross-country who depend on diesel fuel. As the cost of transporting these goods rises, so does the price of goods. Eventually, that means the price hikes are passed on to the consumer.
Already, trucking companies have struggled because of staff shortages and clogged supply lines. Many trucking companies had to increase wages for truck drivers to attract more drivers as the industry suffered because of the pandemic. The rise in gas prices only makes things more difficult for these drivers and these companies. In March of 2022, many truck drivers are seeing more than $4 dollars per gallon.
Because of recent developments in Russia and Ukraine, there is no clear end in sight for these spikes in gas prices. The price for crude oil surged above $100 a barrel in February of 2022, just as the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. Some truck drivers are describing being painstakingly strategic about where they stop for gas, avoiding some truck stops to save even 40 cents per gallon.
The Mexican Avocado Ban of 2022
Avocados are a big deal in the U.S., especially during Super Bowl weekend. This sports event is considered one of the most popular days for avocados, so the recent news about the avocado ban caught people’s attention. Cross-border truckers transferred thousands of avocados every year across the U.S. Mexico border. News of the ban had many avocado enthusiasts a little concerned about just how much avocado toast would be available this spring. The United States imports a lot of avocados every year. In 2021, the U.S imported $3.0 billion avocados with $2.8 billion of that coming from Mexico. The industry is a 3 billion dollar industry for Mexico, more specifically for the state of Michoacan.
The harvest for avocados is from January through March and U.S. production runs from April to September. This is a popular season for avocados.
Why were avocados from Mexico banned?
The ban came after the safety of one U.S. inspector was compromised. According to USA Today, the inspector received a threat against him and his family. The area of Michoacan is known for its cartel violence. The threat allegedly came after the inspector failed to certify a shipment and verify its integrity and safety. This apparently caused a stir. Unfortunately, in this area of Mexico, many of the growers are often subject to the whims of some of the cartels.
The U.S. only buys avocados from Michoacan state because it is the only state that is U.S certified as pest-free. The avocado industry in Mexico revolves around the state, as it produces 5.5 billion pounds of this tasty fruit every year. About 80% of that production is exported to the U.S. Frequent reports showed that some packers in Mexico were trying to pass off avocados that were not from Michoacan as coming from the state.
Continued Covid Issues and Restrictions
The vaccine mandates that prohibit unvaccinated truckers from crossing the U.S-Mexico border have continued to strain the driver market in the area. On January 22, 2022, the U.S placed vaccine requirements on all non-U.S individuals entering the country at the land ports of entry. Companies working in the border area have noticed an effect of these covid restrictions in an already strained sector.
The shortage of drivers, coupled with those refusing the vaccine or others out on sick leave, the industry has had to learn to improvise and adjust in real-time. Mexico does not currently have vaccine mandates to enter or leave their country.
Need to Work with a Reliable Trucking Compliance Company? Contact Us Today.
Here at Border Trucking Compliance, we work in the frontlines of some of the changing issues with the trucking industry. There’s been a lot going on in the industry for the past two years: from vaccine mandates to protests, to supply chain clogs. Throughout all this, the industry has pushed through, doing its part to keep the country running. We help companies ensure they are in compliance with industry regulations.
Need more information? Call Border Trucking Compliance today.