Yep, vaccine mandates have plenty of unvaccinated truckers yelling ‘pivot’ at the border.
Sour grapes: Approximately 50-60% of truckers in the U.S. are vaccinated, and with Canada’s vaccine mandate that prohibits unvaccinated truck drivers from crossing into Canada from the U.S., shortages are already showing up. Consumers in Canada are seeing the impacts, as some grocery stores have no oranges or bananas.
There’s already been a cost increase of 25% to transport fruit from California and Arizona to Canada.
For the U.S. mandate, set to go into effect tomorrow, an estimated 12,000 Canadian drivers may not be permitted to enter the United States. This is a big deal, since 80% of trade between the two countries is moved by truck.
A prickly pear: As the supply chain continues to deal with COVID-related issues, the vaccine mandate only exacerbates the problem, according to the American Trucking Association (ATA).
“The U.S. is already facing unprecedented supply chain disruptions and delays due to many factors, including significant labor shortages, production shutdowns, a shortage of raw materials, and pent-up consumer demand,” the ATA said in a letter to the Biden administration in October.
“Our data shows that a vaccine mandate may very well further cripple the supply chain throughout the country by forcing up to 13% of drivers to leave the industry entirely,” the group added.
The mandate in the U.S. and Canada for truck drivers, plus berry many logistical issues, means an increase in freight costs, which will then trickle down into higher prices for consumers.
Lettuce give you an example: Fresh produce from California to Canada costs $2,500 more now than the usual average. In Canada, that would be a 12-cent increase in cost per head of lettuce.