Is America headed towards a trucking apocalypse? While the trucking industry has been struggling to keep the country moving, cyberattacks, global lockdowns, among other setbacks, have not helped the situation.
Learn with us about the problems that are facing this vital part of the supply chain.
In this article:
Everything You Need to Know About the Coming Trucking Apocalypse
Is There a Trucking Apocalypse Threat in America?
Yes. Truckers are more or less the backbone of the supply chain in America. Unfortunately, significant problems are brewing in this vital part of the supply chain that most of us are unaware of.
As an invaluable part of the supply chain, a failure or struggle in the trucking industry will certainly lead to a disruption or collapse in the entire supply chain network. Keep in mind that it doesn’t need a total trucking industry collapse for it to affect almost all aspects of our lives.
Is the Trucking Apocalypse Going to Impact Our Everyday Lives?
Yes, the trucking apocalypse will undoubtedly impact your everyday life if it is not already. Manufacturing and delivery systems are already in disarray due to global lockdown cyber attacks, supply chain issues, and shifts in consumer spending.
If these and more variants progress to the trucking industry as we are already seeing, we can only expect further shortages along the way. After trucks stop running, you will notice shortages of almost everything in your grocery stores in just two days, not to mention filling stations running out of fuel in hours.
This will fuel panic buying and ultimately bring the entire system to a halt in just one week.
What Can You Do to Prepare for the Trucking Apocalypse?
In preparation for a supply chain system failure, consider prioritizing your needs over your wants. That is, focus on the essentials you need to survive and forego on wants. Unlike in the recent past years, purchasing home appliances and cars now only puts a strain on the already struggling supply chain.
However, prioritizing basics like water, power, and food puts minimal strain on the economy while better positioning yourself to survive the trucking apocalypse. You separate yourself from millions who go without clean water, food, or power during disasters and hard economic times.
Furthermore, learning as many prepping skills as possible can also come in handy at cushioning yourself during tough times. By becoming more self-sufficient and independent of the system, you can make yourself pickled vegetables or tomato sauces with readily available local produce. This way, you don’t struggle.
What Are the Fueling Factors of the Trucking Apocalypse?
A Shortage in Truck Drivers
With at least 3.5 million truck drivers as per the United States census, truck driving is certainly one of the most popular occupations in the United States. However, the American Trucking Association will need to employ roughly 110,000 new drivers per year for a decade to keep up with demand.
According to statistics, the average age of professional truck drivers is 47 years. With such an age, it only makes sense that this group was impacted by COVID-19 the hardest, which may have led to early retirements.
Similarly, the new COVID-19 vaccine mandates are also likely to push more truck drivers into early retirement. This is according to recent news poll results that showed that a considerable percentage of truck drivers are not willing to take the Corona vaccine.
Government mandates require employers with more than 100 employees to ensure all are vaccinated or adhere to weekly COVID-19 tests. For this reason, we can expect to see more truck drivers sidelined even when consumer demands continue to soar to all-time highs.
Scarcity of Truck Manufacturing and Maintenance Parts
As the world came to a standstill due to the COVID-19 virus, many microchip manufacturing factories closed. This led to months of shortage, especially after people realized how much basic things depended on the microchips.
For instance, global lockdowns called for employees and employers to work from home, leading to an increased demand for home office equipment, all of which require microchips. But that’s not the only thing that is affected by a shortage in microchip productions.
Major car manufacturers have scaled-down production due to the unavailability of microchips used in manufacturing new and servicing existing truck fleets. That’s not all. Increased rubber and steel prices due to shortages have impacted the availability of tires for servicing existing rigs.
Moreover, there have been reports of shortages of engine oil, which makes maintenance of existing fleets quite challenging. Generally, there is a shortage of most vehicle parts which car owners may have noticed. Such setbacks are not helping the situation in the already struggling trucking industry.
At this rate, there will soon be truck drivers with commodities to move but without trucks to facilitate transportation.
Note: Though some steel manufacturers have returned to their pre-pandemic manufacturing levels, the supply is still below demand, with costs tripling.
Like everything else, the trucking industry is not spared from the adverse effects of natural disasters. Here, Storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, or other natural phenomena that render roads impassable play a huge role in fueling the trucking apocalypse.
It is important to note that natural disasters are not limited to weather-related calamities only. Pandemics such as COVID-19 also fall under the natural disasters that have played a major role in the trucking apocalypse.
Unlike weather-related disasters, pandemics affect the economy, which translates into a lack of trained personnel, poor maintenance, and repair of existing trucks. This results in shortages of consumer products even when farmers and manufacturers produce in bulk.
The recently experienced hurricane Ida is a great example of how natural disasters strain an already strained supply chain. It caused production to stop in most manufacturing companies along the south and southeastern coast. That means a shortage of those commodities in other areas since trucks can’t access them for distribution.
Note: As a result, increased consumer demand will lead to panic buying straining the supply chain further.
Is There a Solution to the Existing Truck Drivers Shortage?
A military rescue is one of the possible solutions to resolving the truck drivers shortage that is hitting the supply chain. Therefore, with 19 million veterans in America, where one in ten is an experienced truck driver, solving the driver shortage is certainly within reach.
A waiver enables veteran military drivers with two years of experience to acquire a commercial driver’s license in one of the three classes without taking the skills test. Luckily, this program is in every state and effectively keeps every available truck on the road.
There you go, preppers. As long as the cost of maintenance parts, drivers’ salaries, and fuel continues to spike, the trucking industry will continue to struggle.
Unfortunately, these high operational costs and shortages will ripple out to consumers if not resolved. The best you can do as a prepper is to prepare and brace yourself for rather tough economic times.
Are you experiencing shortages related to the trucking apocalypse? Let us know in the comment section below!
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