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Supply Chain Dysfunction is Nothing New for Truckers

| October 14, 2021

Relief and reform are needed to address detention, high turnover, other issues plaguing the trucking industry

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association issued the following response after today’s White House meeting on the Supply Chain Crisis: Todd Spencer, president and CEO:

Truckers have been working tirelessly to keep the country safe and productive throughout the
COVID-19 pandemic. They have already been operating around the clock, but are often
restricted by factors beyond their control such as excessive detention time and the lack of
readily-available, safe parking for their trucks. These problems must finally be addressed if the
Administration hopes to implement any significant supply chain solutions. Most of what we are
seeing is not a surprise to our members who have been plagued with dysfunction in the supply
chain for decades and it’s not realistic to expect the supply chain will suddenly operate
efficiently on a 24/7 schedule when drivers aren’t being fully paid for their time.

In recent months, global supply shortages have forced some truckers off the road. Drivers are
experiencing the domino effects of supply and staffing shortages which are preventing them
from complying with federal regulations. Examples include drug and alcohol testing delays and
difficulties finding replacement electronic logging devices, DEF filters, and CPAP machines. We
encourage the U.S. Department of Transportation and other agencies to begin making some
emergency allowances to keep safe, qualified drivers in business.

But let’s be clear, the current supply chain crisis is not due to a shortage of truck drivers!
Because the real bottlenecks in the supply chain occur at pickup and delivery points, adding
more trucks and drivers will simply makes the lines longer, NOT faster. Every region of our
country and segment of our economy relies upon long-haul truck drivers and it’s time that both
the government and the trucking industry begin treating them as essential workers. We support
the Administration’s efforts to improve the quality of trucking jobs, but this must start with
valuing and compensating all of a driver’s time.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association
representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers.

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