The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) believes one in five of Canada’s cross-border truck drivers will quickly abandon international work when the U.S. requires them to prove they’re double-vaccinated beginning in January.
The estimate is based on current vaccination rates across Canada.
About 120,000 Canadian truck drivers run cross-border routes, while 40,000 U.S.-licensed drivers do the same. And CTA expects Canada would require U.S.-based drivers to prove their vaccination status if the U.S. moves ahead with its mandate. Based on vaccination rates south of the border, the alliance estimates 40% of the border-crossing U.S. drivers would opt out of cross-border trucking, too.
Collectively, that could mean a loss of 38,000 truck drivers for cross-border work.
Many Canadian trucking companies report close to 85-90% of their truck drivers are vaccinated, Canada’s largest trucking association says. But it also notes that many carriers involved in cross-border trade still have lower vaccination rates, depending on where they’re based.
The CTA says it is already working on strategies to increase vaccination rates among the industry’s workforce. And it is looking for eased timelines for such a border-focused vaccine mandate, as well as a common form of identification to verify any vaccination status for that purpose.
“CTA and the Canadian trucking industry strongly support the use of vaccines to bring an end to the Covid-19 pandemic and is encouraging its drivers to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their family members, co-workers and customers, notwithstanding legitimate medical/religious exemptions,” it says in a statement released Thursday.
“CTA is urging governments for a date-driven, practical implementation timeline that does not further disrupt a constrained supply chain and increase processing times of trucks at the border while also maintaining the need to keep Canadians and Americans safe.”