Mark Willis: Shortsighted Closures Hurt Truckers, Drive up Prices, Worsen Shortages

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 13: A trucker drives near City Hall to protest shipping container fees being assessed against independent truckers as part of the ports' Clean Truck Program to allow only newer, less-polluting trucks at the ports, on November 13, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The members of …
David McNew/Getty

Restrictions and closures hurting truckers will exacerbate shortages and rising prices of basic goods, warned Mark Willis, host of SiriusXM’s Road Dog News, in an interview with Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow on Friday.

Willis warned of how shortsighted restrictions and closures of roads, rest areas, and businesses in responses to the viral spread make it more difficult for truckers to secure basic goods and services while working.

“Truckers aren’t feeling the love,” said Willis on Friday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily, despite a campaign of messages on social media tagged with #ThankATrucker.

Willis said, “The closure of some state-operated rest areas, [a] sudden lack of places to buy food, and also the refusal of a lot of businesses to let drivers use the bathroom, are making it really tough for a lot of drivers to deliver essential goods and medical supplies.”

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Willis continued, “It’s hitting truck drivers at all levels of the supply chain, and what we’ve got are some uneven local reactions across the United States to the spread of the coronavirus. It’s threatening to cramp down on truck capacity and push up rates and prices.”

“Drivers [are] spending extra time looking for food or bathrooms,” warning that small and remote drive-throughs, restaurants, and other small businesses “are coming under a lot of pressure to close or curtail services as freight demand [is] driven up by consumer spending on essential goods is really rising rapidly.”

Many truckers are unsure how they will get the basic services they need in order to operate on the road, warned Willis.

Willis highlighted Pennsylvania’s closure of rest areas — mandated by the state’s transportation department — as illustrative of poorly implemented policy to address the coronavirus threat.

Trucker organizations and associations are advocating for a relaxing of harmful policies, Willis said, “to keep that essential flow of commerce moving [which is] vital for the economy in these trying times.”

Marlow asked what DC-based policymakers should do during the disease’s spread regarding truckers.

Willis urged politicians and authorities to listen to truckers and truckers’ interest groups. “Oftentimes many of the trucking industry feel that they don’t have a voice in any of the policy decisions that are coming down from inside of the beltway,” he added.

“Ultimately, every decision that impacts the transportation or the trucking industry winds up right in the front seat of the of the person driving that cab,” advised Willis. “So listen to the constituents, [and] be flexible in the whole idea of new initiatives that will make the job a whole lot easier, make it safer for the traveling public [and] for the trucking industry.”

Willis noted the centrality of trucking to America’s economy.

“These guys and ladies driving these trucks they are the backbone of America,” concluded Willis, “and if we don’t provide them the adequate services that they need in order to get the job done, we’re gonna Have some real trouble out there.”

Breitbart News Daily broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

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