Cross Border Vaccination Mandates
According to the American Trucking Association, about 60% of US truckers have at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and those who remain unvaccinated can easily find jobs hauling loads with companies not demanding proof of vaccination.
However, both Canada and the United States announced last year they would require truck drivers entering their respective countries to be fully vaccinated and show proof to gain entry. Canada implemented its measure on January 15, 2022, while the U.S. requirement started on January 22nd. Most cross-border trade between the two countries occurs over land and this has quickly become a serious problem.
Mexico accounts for over 70% of fresh produce imported during the winter months, which could be severely restrained and impacted by the vaccine mandate. It’s worth noting however that Mexican trucking companies are not allowed to operate in the US - they can only go as far as the border where US trucks take over the loads - so the impact may be less severe on our southern border.
As with all government-imposed vaccine mandates worldwide, this is a controversial issue pitting government entities trying to ensure public safety with personal freedoms and vaccine skeptics. Driver shortages, already affecting the national supply chain, have been made worse by drivers leaving their jobs over this decision on both sides of the border. It’s far beyond the purview of this newsletter to offer an opinion on which way this should be decided, but hopefully, it doesn’t devolve into hardened politically driven positions because at the end of the day we need more professional drivers and trucks on the road, not less.