We’ve faced supply-and-demand issues over the last two years. While annoying and troubling, it’s become somewhat normal to walk into stores (brick-and-mortar and online) only to find missing products, lengthy delays in shipping, and empty shelves.
And now, we’re facing a new one – truckers not trucking.
And if truckers don’t truck…well, that’s a whole new ballgame.
The Freedom Convoy protesters in Canada made their point, and made it well. Before police began rounding up drivers, the shutdown of the major crossings between Canada and the United States cost about $1 billion in daily commerce.
That’s $1 billion in daily trade. Not the total.
While the Canadian border is now opening, there are rumblings of a trucker's strike in America, much like the ones in New Zealand, Israel, France, and a handful of other countries.
This begs the question: What happens if truckers ACTUALLY stop trucking? What happens if the Freedom Convoy comes to the U.S.?
Whether you agree with the trucker protests or not, you will be affected by it. Here’s how, why, and what you need to do to prepare.
There Was ALREADY a Trucker Shortage
Before we discuss the Freedom Convoy, it’s important to acknowledge that we were already dealing with issues in the trucking industry.
The American Trucking Associations stated in December 2021 that they need 80,000 more drivers and that the trucking shortage shows no signs of stopping in 2022.
Vox adds, “The ATA also estimates that about 72 percent of America’s freight transport moves by trucks, which shows just how dependent consumers are on the drivers who deliver turkeys to stores or gas to pumps or the Christmas presents you order to your doorsteps.”
Without enough truck drivers, multiple industries are affected.
Add in protests where truck drivers are parking and refusing to transport goods between borders, and we face even more supply chain issues and inflation concerns.
Current Trucker Protests – How Things Get WORSE
Since the Canadian protest started, truckers shut down the busiest border crossing between the United States and Canada – the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Ontario.
25% of the trade between the U.S. and Canada crosses this particular bridge – about $390 million in daily trade, according to Newsweek.
And it was blocked for weeks. That’s a lot of cargo not getting to where it needs to go.
In addition, the Freedom Convoy has shut down other major border crossings for several days. Fortune reports, “The crossings — one of which leads to Pembina, North Dakota and the other to Sweet Grass, Montana — are the second- and third-busiest for freight trucks along the western border of the two countries. They saw a combined 392,000 trucks enter the U.S. from Canada last year, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation.”
The auto industry, in particular, is already feeling the effects. The Hill reports, “The Anderson Economic Group (AEG), a Michigan-based consulting firm, published an updated estimate on Monday that said between Feb. 7 to Feb. 15, there were lost direct wages of $144.9 million, most of which were in Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario. Automakers, including GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota, lost a total of $155 million. All combined, the auto industry lost a total of $299.9 million for that two-week time period.”
Many protesters have been arrested after the Canadian government invoked an "Emergencies Act." This allows the government to interrupt bank accounts, insurance, and other critical services to the truckers involved in the protest.
But even as the Canadian protests wind down, the American People’s Convoy of at least 1,000 trucks is preparing to head from California to DC sometime around the beginning of March. When these truckers join the movement, they will not be transporting goods to and from the places they were scheduled.
Trucker Protests Affect Everyone in Only a Matter of Days
During a major trucker protest, there is a trickle-down effect (or, more likely, a sudden downpour) that will affect every single one of us.
EZ Freight Factoring claims, “Due to their time-sensitivity, there are seven industries that would suffer immediately if trucks stopped moving. These industries include food, healthcare, transportation, retail, manufacturing, waste removal, and banking.”
Within 24 hours, we will already start to feel the effects.
Consider the following infographic.
Not only will hospitals and grocery stores run out of basic supplies, but we will also experience sharp price increases.
Everything from medications to food to gas will be significantly harder to get.
A few days of protests is enough to cripple our already struggling supply chain.
Why We Need Truckers
EZ Freight Factoring explains, “Truck drivers deliver 10 billion tons of every commodity consumed and transport over 671 billion dollars’ worth of goods every year. In fact, 70 percent of all freight moved in the U.S. ranging from the food industry to healthcare is done by trucks.”
Even if you disagree with their protest, you have to admit that the truckers effectively show everyone why they are essential and should be respected.
Even if governments listen to these truck drivers, it doesn’t mean we can accept that truckers will always be willing and able to transport goods.
There may come a day when truck drivers are simply fed up with how they are treated or their work conditions, and they choose to quit. If we don’t have enough truck drivers, the supply chain will slow down or come to a halt again.
[Related Read: 10 Real Emergencies You Must Prepare For]
How to Prepare for More Trucker Protests
The possibility of a trucker protest in the U.S. is real, so now is the time to prepare.
My Patriot Supply is proud to have our own fleet of over a dozen trucks and drivers to transport essential survival goods to our customers even during recent trying times. They receive our goods from suppliers and criss-cross the country moving emergency supplies between our three massive warehouses covering over a half-million square feet in Utah, Missouri, and Ohio.
Over the past year, supply chains have been strained – and even buckled – our trucks kept moving and delivering food and supplies quickly to your door!
But who knows what the future holds. Before the worst happens, it is wise to stock up on the following essentials that will slow down during a trucker protest.
- Stock food. If you wait, you risk finding grocery stores empty. Purchase long-term emergency food to have just in case.
- Have access to clean water. Invest in a water filtration system.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full. Pay attention to what is happening at the gas stations.
- Get prescriptions filled on time. Many medications come from across borders. Ask your doctor to fill a prescription early.
- Have cash. A trucker protest will hinder banks and cash flow.
- Fill your first aid kit with essential medical supplies. One of the first industries affected by a truck protest is healthcare.
Stay aware and prepare, friends.
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply