You do not need to be a rocket scientist to know that the trucking industry is essential for the U.S. More than 70% of all freight is moved by trucks in the United States. But what if truckers suddenly ceased to work? The impact on the economy of the country and lives of Americans would be stronger than you might think.
For example, Brazilian truckers in May 2018 went on strike that lasted for weeks. The country was literally paralyzed. Public transport network went down as gas stations ran out of fuel.
American Trucking Associations (ATA) has made a study in which outlined a scenario of what will happen if truckers stopped working. Hospitals and gas stations are first who’ll be affected.
Medicine is the first who’ll feel the lack of truckers. All basic medical supplies (catheters, syringes, etc.) would run out. Radiopharmaceutical medication for cancer patients would expire because it has a lifespan of a few hours.
In 2018, during the Brazilian truckers strike, a severe lack of medication was a big problem for the country. The government had to use security forces to escort trucks with medical supplies.
Mail delivery and all your precious Amazon Prime packages would be delayed if truck drivers stop working, regardless last-mile or long-haul routes.
Next who’ll start to run out of supplies would be grocery stores and gas stations. Trucking industry stoppage would cause consumer panic almost on the same levels as during hurricanes or natural disasters.
Truck drivers stoppage will force rampant manufacturing industry delays. Many manufacturers produce their goods as parts and elements are delivered. The lack of components will occur within a few hours.
Two to Three Days
In 1974, around 100,000 went on strike across the U.S. (for three days in some areas). National Guard was forcibly removing vehicles from the highways and use tear gas because of striking truckers.
According to ATAs report, the strike led to massive food shortage nationwide. If the strike were nowadays, bottled water, canned food, powdered milk, and other essentials would be gone in three days.
Gas stations would run out of fuel, ATMs would be cashless, garbage would flood the streets. Hazardous materials, deteriorating and medical waste would be a big problem for the environment and people. All goods that are shipped from other countries by the sea would stay in ports.
More Than a Week
A week without truckers would be enormous damage for economics. There would be nobody to transport the fuel so the transportation industry will stop in general. People won’t be unable to get to the work. Labour shortage will cause high economic damage.
Oxygen supplies in hospitals will be exhausted by seven to ten days. In two weeks clean drinking water supplies will run dry in two weeks. ATA wrote:
On average, trucks deliver purification chemicals to water supply plants every seven to 14 days. Without these chemicals, water cannot be purified and made safe for drinking. Without truck deliveries of purification chemicals, water supply plants will run out of drinkable water in 14 to 28 days.