Keep on trucking? The U.S. and Canada vaccine mandates may slow Alaska’s freight

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A pair of vaccine mandates for truckers in and out of Canada and the U.S. may worsen the supply chain problems in Alaska.

While much of Alaska’s consumer goods come to the state via barges and shipping containers at the Port of Alaska, there are still goods being trucked up the Alaska Highway, entering the state at the Tok border crossing. There is no one organization that knows just what is coming through near Tok, Alaska and how the lack of drivers will impact Alaska families and businesses.

The Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers went into effect on Saturday. Canada enacted new trucker vaccine Covid regulations that went into effect on Jan. 15.

The vaccine mandates represent a stare-down between President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Canada’s mandate was in reaction to the U.S. mandate, which was announced first, but went into effect a few days after Canada’s.

In protest, some truckers have created blockades at U.S.-Canada border crossings, making already long waits into bottlenecks for everyone trying to traverse the border. Right now, a trucker convoy is crossing Canada toward the capital of Ottawa to stage a major protest.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, non-U.S. citizens  seeking to enter the United States via land ports of entry at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada  borders must be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 and provide proof of vaccination. No booster is required by the DHS.

The rules from the Biden Administration apply to all non-citizens, even those traveling in essential capacities, which includes truckers moving critical medical goods to combat the pandemic.

Empty shelves at the Northern Lights Carrs grocery store on Saturday, Jan. 22, 20222.

Trucking and logistics groups have said this new set of rules will negatively impact supply chains already in crisis, according to Heavy Duty Trucking, a trade group.

What comes to Alaska via highway in the winter? A lot of construction equipment, including oil and gas machinery, comes up the highway, as well as all the household goods that belong to military families being reassigned to Alaska, and other household moves. Anything too big to move in a Conex or cargo container comes up the highway.

It’s estimated that 40 percent of the U.S. trucking workforce is now unable to traverse the U.S.-Canada border. The same holds true for the U.S.-Mexico border, where produce, medicine, and manufactured goods are sourced for much of the U.S.

U.S. auto part imports from Canada were $14 billion last year, while its auto part imports from Mexico were $51.6 billion, according to the Auto Care Association, as reported by NBC News.

The American Trucking Association joined the lawsuit against the Biden Administration over the vaccine mandates and issued a statement after the U.S. Supreme Court put a stay on the Biden vaccine-or-test mandate:

“Today, ATA has won a tremendous victory on behalf of the trucking industry and workers and employers everywhere. Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court validates our claim that OSHA far overstepped its authority in issuing an emergency temporary standard that would interfere with individuals’ private health care decisions,” ATA said in its statement.

“Trucking has been on the front lines throughout the pandemic – delivering PPE, medical supplies, food, clothing, fuel, and even the vaccines themselves. Thanks to this ruling, our industry will continue to deliver critical goods, as our nation recovers from the pandemic and we move our economy forward,” the organization said on Jan. 13.

But the lawsuit didn’t touch the Department of Homeland Security’s cross-border vaccine mandate.

Last week on Fox News, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear said that the trucking industry is “on the edge of a cliff.:

“I think a year of policies that have led us there generally stem from rewarding people not to return to work,” he said. Spears added the trucking field is still short 81,000 drivers.

As for the trucker protests, the Canadian Trucking Alliance said it disapproves of them.

“The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) does not support and strongly disapproves of any protests on public roadways, highways, and bridges. CTA believes such actions – especially those that interfere with public safety – are not how disagreements with government policies should be expressed. Members of the trucking industry who want to publicly express displeasure over government policies can choose to hold an organized, lawful event on Parliament Hill or contact their local MP. What is not acceptable is disrupting the motoring public on highways and commerce at the border,” the organization said in a statement on Saturday.

33 COMMENTS

  1. We are hoping all Truckers walk off the job. Alaska may get a lot of it’s freight off ships and planes but trucks haul that crap to them and from them. Truckers have know about this for some time and Our Families have full pantries and can easily go around 6 months with nothing purchased. Let’s see how everyone else does, and see how they feel about mandates when there are no groceries to feed their families with.

      • No. People have been told this was coming. If you didn’t prepare you’re going to have a bad time.

      • “those in dire need” had the exact same opportunities to stock up their pantries as “Warrior for God” and other families did…….

  2. From what I have seen on social media locally, the empty shelves are looking pretty grim.
    I’m glad I stocked up on basic survival food back when this so-called pandemic first started. I mean, I already had some. But having more is better and now I’m glad than ever that I did so.

    • The more the stupidity and insanity of Covidianism is revealed, the more those in power seem to want to double-down on their authoritarian and counterproductive mandates and general coercion.

  3. Never forget the politicians who enable this atrocity, and the spineless ones who stand by and do nothing. Looking at you, Mike

  4. Anyone else wonder if the Biden Administration won’t be happy with Alaska until all resource industries are out of Alaska?

  5. Google “Minn-Alaska Trucking” – they will have first-hand knowledge from the American side as to what is going on at the border. As for “anyone who” must be vaxxed, well that certainly doesn’t apply to illegals – if they get caught, they’re poked – and allowed to stay.

  6. Wildcat truckers’ strike on both sides of the border would cure the problem.
    .
    Might cause an inconvenience, be a royal pain in the a… (whoops!), but if a wildcat strike defeats the Biden regime’s vaccine-mandate fetish, let’s get it done.
    .
    Right now.

    • Just for a little perspective, in 1939 Germany Adolf Hitler said that in the event of another World War the result would be “the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.” Ravensbruck which was the largest concentration camp for Jewish women was established. The Stutthof concentration camp was established. The mass transferring of Jews to Poland and concentration camps began. Hitler signed in to law the Euthanasia Program designed to systematically kill Germans with mental and physical disabilities living in institutions. Jews over the age of 10 are required to wear white arm bands with blue Stars of David. Germany invaded Czechoslovakia and Poland. All Jewish enterprises were closed by the Nazi’s. Countries across the globe declare war with Germany.
      .
      You couldn’t bring a boat up last year, other’s managed to bring boats up.
      .
      Perspective is a powerful thing.

      • Evil doesn’t just one day announce itself like a broadway state show finale.
        It builds over time, like weeds overrunning a garden. Ask any farmer or gardener and they’ll tell you getting at weeds early privets major problems later.
        Since you went there, the Nazis didn’t come into power and immediately start up furnaces and gas chambers. It began with vilification of certain types of people to help solidify power.
        .
        Understanding history is a more powerful thing than perspective.
        .
        But in the sake of intellectual honesty, the comparison of not being allowed to bring a boat up, sans other information (say, vaccination status or due to nationality) is somewhere between hysterical and downright stupid.

        • You can’t understand history without perspective, and as illustrated here with the boat, you can’t have perspective without understanding history. It’s the whole chicken and egg deal.

  7. Why are we driving things across continents in small loads when barging is so much more cost effective, or at least it could be. The Jones Act needs revisited.

    • You must not know anyone in logistics or trucking.
      Roads are always faster and cheaper when they are an option. With trucking you get a more direct point to point delivery. Barging (I live in Juneau, we live and die off of the weekly barge) adds an often unnecessary third party to the process.
      This drives up cost, time, and adds in another element of delay in the process.

      • When moving large amounts across great distances doing so in bulk is always preferable, cheaper, quicker, and more reliable. Using the Juneau barge example, just imagine hundreds of small boats running up from Seattle, you think costs are high and it takes time now? What about when 25-50% of the supplies just for Juneau don’t show up on time?
        .
        There’s a reason large container ships, barges, and trains exist, economies of scale. The truckers who drive overland to Alaska through Canada are typically driving loads that will not fit on a barge or that are time sensitive, I’ve paid the premium for trucking over the North American continent numerous times. Lot’s of times the return trip is empty, making the weeklong roundtrip even more expensive.

    • The Jones Act needs TO BE revisited.
      .
      (What is up with leaving out the necessary “to be” when linking a verb with the past participle?)
      .
      But I agree with you on this claim.

  8. I hope the Canadian government and the Biden Administration stop the vaccine mandates against U.S and Canadian truck drivers. The mandates hinder commerce and to some extent, are a form of tyranny, in my opinion.
    .
    I saw some comments suggesting that truckers should engage in work stoppages. That would be very bad and would exacerbate the problem of shortages. Punishing the Alaskan public by throttling off the supply of goods would make truckers look like the bad guys. Truckers who stay on the job, working hard to continue trying to get enough supplies shipped in are the good guys.
    .
    The bad guys, in my opinion, are the authoritarians who are trying to mandate injections into people, who would rather not have them. I’m pro-Covid-vaccine, but I’m against dictatorial mandates. I have not taken the Covid vaccine myself, but I’m very glad the vaccines were developed, and are available to all who would like to have them.

    • Randy, the idea is to persuade the Biden regime to stop vaccine mandates.
      .
      Truckers won’t be regarded as bad guys just because they’re fed up with more Biden BS custom made for them.
      .
      A truckers’ wildcat strike should get the attention of the regime.
      .
      If not, you can bet with mid-term elections coming up, a wildcat strike will get the attention of somebody in the Senate
      .
      … at which point truckers and customers might together be able to drive a stake through the heart of vaccine mandates so they never, ever come back to life.
      .
      Sure and the public’ll be inconvenienced, but not forever.
      .
      Best of all, what more do Deplorables have to lose before America’s Ruling Class is affected and corrects the situation?

  9. There’s a you tube video by a Canadian trucker who estimates 37000 transboundary truckers are walking off. His commentary on Trudeau and Biden are quite descriptive.

    • Nobody suggested otherwise, John. Again, your reading and thinking ability are called into question.
      Anyway, so what? It is still a righteous and well-justified response to medical fascism and radical leftist authoritarianism of the most pernicious and damaging kind.

  10. Why don’t we just have illegal migrants drive the trucks? They can come over the border without ID, no vaccination or even a mask. We could have the Coyotes cover logistics as they’re very proficient at organizing large groups for border crossings.

  11. The article states that all illegals entering from the northern or the southern border are required to be vaccinated. I guarantee that is not happening at the southern border.

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