Weeklong Trucker Bridge Protest Costs $300 Million to Auto Industry
A weeklong protest shutting down the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor is over but the impact is nowhere near being done.
Hundreds of truckers and other protesters blocked traffic across the bridge for a week, as they pushed against Canada’s vaccine passport mandate. Sunday the traffic was reopened but the delay already is causing issues.
“The Ambassador Bridge is our largest land bridge between the US and Canada,” said Mark Spieles, logistics professor at Central Michigan University.
Protests were held at border crossings across the continent but none may have been as disruptive as the blockade at the Ambassador Bridge and the impact on the automotive industry.
“Most of the Canadian automotive manufacturers and suppliers that support the industry are within that 200 miles from Windsor to Toronto,” said Spieles.
Estimates are being set at $300 million lost in production and wages from just a week long shut down, especially as the delays ripple through the supply chain.
“We’re going to continue to feel disruptions as a result of that,” said Spieles, “It impacts our supply chains and transportation more significantly than maybe any other sector.”
“It’s not just the auto industry but pharmaceuticals and agriculture as well.
“I think for other industries it’s going to be less visible and for the Canadian consumer there might be a lapse of products coming into the Canadian economy, like grocery stores,” said Spieles.
Spieles said a protest is a rare issue but weather and accidents and other stoppages can impact the bridge and this is an exact reason why they are building a second crossing in Detroit.
“I think it’s as good for commerce to have more than one option to cross.”