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As part of the industry’s impact due to COVID-19, trucking availability has recently taken the spotlight.  So let’s discuss the latest issue shaping the future of our industry.

In our daily conversations with our mills and pallet haulers, we have discovered that large companies such as UPS, FedEx, and even USPS are contacting trucking companies and offering three to four times more money per mile to haul their goods.  This is a significant increase over what they would typically collect for transporting pallets. 

Another factor that is completely new to all industries is the topic of the personal choice for employees to vaccinate or not. This has infiltrated into the workforce throughout the US with many companies now mandating it while some making the choice not to comply with the mandates. With the larger companies strongly encouraging people to get vaccinated in order to continue working together this has caused some issues/delays/labor shortages in the transportation industry and industries nationwide. 

Over the next few months, trucking availability will be turned upside down.  The demand will continue to increase, and with that, rates will be rising as well. As a result, the drivers who would generally haul pallets daily will now seize the opportunity to work with the big companies and take a chance at this new possibility of making more than they did before.

With this current landscape, we need to be aware that lumber and pallet transportation will be a significant issue over the next few months, and it will continue to be an issue over the next ten years until a new generation of truck drivers enter the industry.

It’s time to get creative to find a way around it.  What do you think our options are?  Share your thoughts with us!