I travel all over the Northwest and see some of the most unsafe trucks I have seen anywhere in the United States. I see US carriers and Canadian carriers alike who enter the United States with trucks that probably aren’t worthy of our roads and highways.
I think the reason for such a push to allow the Mexican trucks on our roads is purely economic. The company I work for has had a terrible time hiring drivers in the Seattle area. The wages are good, the hours are great and the home time is unbeatable. Why is it so hard for our company and dozens of others in the area to hire drivers? The union backed companies are even having a hard time hiring drivers. When Swift, USX, Schneider, JB Hunt and others can’t hire enough drivers, they need to do something to get the freight to move. One solution was to fast track the Mexican trucks into the United States. JB Hunt’s stock was up over 4% at the end of last week! Other trucking company stocks were at higher levels too. When the cost of fuel is hovering at an all time high of $84 dollars a barrel, one would think that stock prices for trucking companies would go down.
I firmly believe that the reason the Mexican trucks are on the road today are because of pressures from shippers that they need more trucks to ramp up for the holiday season. It is no coincidence that this month the trucks entered the USA. Christmas freight is already in the warehouse and about to hit the road if it hasn’t already.
The only thing that concerns me about Mexican trucks or Canadian trucks for that matter is security issues. When the TSA and Customs only inspect about 1% of trucks or containers that enter this country, it concerns me any time freight enters this country.