Why are they upset?
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials have issued a bulletin warning that American truckers could begin protesting COVID-19 (fuel prices) restrictions along the nation’s highways, causing major disruptions to travel and commerce. This was issued a few days ago. Today, in The Metro Life, we discuss why, and what it would mean to not only businesses but Americans in general.
Over the past two weeks, protesters have blocked roads leading to the U.S. border at a number of points, including Windsor; Sarnia, Ontario; Emerson, Manitoba; and Coutts, Alberta. Automakers have been particularly affected by the blockade at the Ambassador Bridge, which normally carries $300 million worth of goods a day, about a third of which are related to the auto industry. Carmakers have been left short of crucial parts, forcing companies to shut down some plants from Ontario to Alabama on Friday. Daniel A. Nibarger, a truck driver from Chillicothe, Mo., who was on a rest stop at Buffalo Truck Dispatch in Blasdell. said to the Buffalo News "I'm shutting for as long as it takes," James Wodbell of Canton, Ohio, said hundreds of drivers met to discuss a strike in Youngstown last week, but he didn't attend the meeting, and he doubted anything would come of the gathering. Nibarger, however, was the only one of a half-dozen drivers interviewed who thought there will be a strike by the independent drivers. There has been a lot of media coverage surrounding Canada's Trudeau pushed an emergency order that could freeze Canadian drivers' bank accounts or even cancel their insurance.
Many truckers across Canada and the United States are raging mad over this Canadian overreach. American truckers, especially those that run routes across the ambassador bridge into Winsler Ontario also are frustrated over the ever-rising fuel costs that are hurting logistics businesses of all sizes. Ottawa’s police chief resigned Tuesday amid criticism of his inaction against the trucker protests that have paralyzed Canada’s capital for over two weeks. If truckers went on strike in the United States, it would take only 24 hours for hospitals to be short on supplies, Automotive fuel to dwindle and prices to skyrocket. Food shortages would start to appear, and overall jeopardy to society would commence. U.S. families are facing other recent financial shocks, including rising housing costs to higher prices at the grocery store. Prices overall climbed 7.5 percent in January, compared with the same month in 2021, as inflation continued at its most rapid clip in about four decades. As reported by Redwood Logistics, trucks carry about 70% of all goods shipped in the U.S., and this is expected to grow by 3.4% annually until at least 2023. This heightened demand, coupled with fewer young people choosing truck driving as a career, has caused a shortage of 51,000 truck driving jobs across the country. This is a horrible combination of numbers, we could all lose here.
Many truckers share frustration regarding regulation, fuel prices, and rising taxes. The industry is severely understaffed, and they feel underserved. Every trucking company Metromedia Funding Solutions has talked to over the last several weeks has shared a common denominator, they are feeling squeezed from every angle. J. T. from Fast Response Logistics in Indianapolis says he is working twice as hard as he was in 2019 and urges businesses that use logistics companies to find other ways to cut costs over cutting the pay of trucking companies. He also mentioned that the looming gas prices and threats of regulations are enough to send half of the industry over the deep end.
Industry Leaders Say "Take Action Now."
Rick Moghadam, the owner of Metromedia Funding SOlutions says he has seen the looming issue unfold since the beginning of 2021. Metromedia Funding Solutions has been working closely with all of its clients to make sure they can identify alternative resources for materials needed to run their businesses, and identify additional ways to make money. He says that the current economic situation is stormy but he says he is "cautiously optimistic" that in the event there was a trucking strike of any kind that it would be short-lived as the message to change the policies and fix the issues that are looming over truckers would be addressed quickly. He further proffers that "the fear of hunger" would be a motivating factor to solve issues faster, although painful. He further mentions that he would pray that it does not have to come down to this extreme measure. He also prays for it to remain lawful, and peaceful, but backs the trucking industry as he has several friends and family members that are suffering from the current situation.
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