BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A new mandate will require U.S. truck drivers crossing the Canada border to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
“Trucking companies are going to find themselves imperil as a result of it,” ROAR Logistics CEO Robert Rich III said.
Canada's Public Health Agency said any foreign national truck driver who does not provide proof of vaccination cannot cross into Canada.
“All this does is really exacerbate an existing issue,” Rich said.
A survey by the American Trucking Association said about 50% of drivers are vaccinated. President of ROAR Logistics, Robert Rich III, said two-thirds of freight that goes between the U.S. and Canada is by land. And Rich said the mandate is happening too quickly.
“If you’re going to institute something within a week’s notice, I don’t think that gives enough people to respond,” Rich said.
And the American Trucking Association said more than 60% of truck drivers who are not vaccinated said they do not plan to get it.
“Now you’re going to tell a number of drivers, tens of thousands, that they can’t perform their duty as a cross border trucker,” Rich said
The Canada Border Services Agency said in a statement:
As the new measures are rolled out on January 15, truck drivers may experience delays at ports of entry due to the modified public health measures. Truck drivers can minimize delays by ensuring they have submitted the required information, including vaccination evidence and information using ArriveCAN. In addition, foreign national truck drivers should ensure they meet the entry/eligibility requirements to be admitted into Canada before heading to the border.
And not only will this effect truck drivers, but Canadians and Americans might feel the impact.
“There’s going to be a logistical disconnect,” Natalie Simpson said.
Natalie Simpson from the UB School of Management said this could drive costs up for Canadians. Simpson said at this time of year, Canada imports a lot of groceries from the states.
“Canada, like us, are already looking at inflation over the past couple months,” Simpson said. “So, they’re not looking forward to that.”
And some drivers who use Canada as a short cut may not be able to anymore; potentially causing more delays.
“We have a shortage of drivers, we have a pandemic and then we have this issue of some of the drivers can’t go across the border,” Simpson said.
“I don’t view this as being a positive move for the transportation industry or for the economies of the U.S. and Canada,” Rich said.
The border agency said they will monitor wait times and adjust staffing accordingly to minimize delays. And truck drivers must enter their vaccination information on ArriveCAN.