Less than 24 hours after reversing a vaccine mandate for Canadian truck drivers, due to pressure from the opposition and trucking lobbyists, the Canadian Prime Minister and Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) reinstated the mandate. In order to cross back from the U.S. into Canada, Canadian truck drivers need to be fully vaccinated or risk quarantine protocol. While American drivers who can not show proof of vaccination will be turned away at the border altogether.
Although government resources have reported that nearly 90% of Canada’s 120,000 drivers are vaccinated, many of these drivers have joined forces with unvaccinated colleagues to protest. Drivers, business owners, and trucking lobbyists have cited driver shortage, trade disruption and inflation as potential side effects. “Since Covid began, freight capacity has been a major problem on both sides of the border. And with 30,000 trucks crossing the border each day, carrying over $1 billion in trade, even a slight disruption to freight capacity can compound heightened supply chain problems for many manufacturers,” said Dean Corbolotti, VP Managed Services at Sleek Technologies. “Unfortunately, unvaccinated drivers or those who don’t want to deal with incremental protocol at the border will use their trucks on other routes and loads.”
With the mandate now in play, several U.S.-based manufacturers have reported massive shipment cost increases, some three times higher. Other manufacturers have reported shipment delays, some with 40 shipments waiting on available drivers. Unfortunately, freight procurement professionals will continue to struggle to move goods across the border and consequences will be seen farther up the supply chain.