- A trucking shortage is distressing Washington state potato farmers struggling to deliver their products out of state during this prime shipping season, Go Skagit reported last week.
- Farmers believe the cause of the shortage is two-fold, having to do with drivers striking over the pending ELD mandate and those unavailable due to materials transport demand in storm-damaged areas.
- Farmers are instead tapping driving schools and anyone willing and able to do transport. One farmer stated that he believes the ELD law will delay transports by a full day.
Trucker availability grows ever more sparse in wake of hurricanes and upcoming ELD mandate.
Truckers are becoming a rarity, as they battle persistent misclassification, the need to work long hours to fund both fuel and vehicle payment fees, and finally, rock-solid resistance to the Electronic Logging Mandate (ELD), which they believe will seriously hamper their ability to deliver loads on time.
More than 100 truckers in Pierce County, Washington either gathered Oct. 6 for a rally or simply parked along the side of the road to protest the coming ELD law as part of a nationwide protest that ran from October 3-8. Washington drivers made their point by abandoning their routes, stranding potato farmers and others who rely on them to transport their produce to market.
If, in fact, the 90% current driver turnover rate remains, shippers may have to begin relying on an old standby: trailer on rail transport, according to JOC.com. To that end, a 5.4% increase in this intermodal method was recorded between February and August of 2017. Though perhaps just a stopgap in advance of driver acceptance of ELD, trailer on rail is pulling its weight.