Trucking Group Calls for Boycott of Deliveries to Portland As “Extreme Risk” Persists
Portland, OR – As major U.S. cities continue to experience a rise in violence amid ongoing social unrest, many are asking how much longer truckers will continue to deliver to these cities.
After 56 consecutive nights of rioting in Portland, OR, the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) is imploring truckers to boycott deliveries into the city.
In an Emergency Advisory issued early Sunday morning, the SBTC urged, “Truckers are advised to avoid and cease delivering to Portland due to the extreme risk of death and serious bodily injury until riots cease, law and order are restored and the threat is neutralized.”
Portland has become the epicenter of the violence as rioters continue to destroy property and attack law enforcement officials with Molotov cocktails, mortar fireworks, frozen water bottles, and more items intended to harm.
Dozens and dozens of law enforcement officers have been hurt.
However, according to Chad Wolf, Acting Administrator of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, has done nothing to quell the violence.
In fact, Mayor Wheeler has engaged in protests with the rioters even being pepper sprayed by federal officials during a demonstration last week.
He is blaming the violence on President Donald Trump, arguing the President is abusing his power and inciting more lawlessness by sending federal officers to protect federal property.
“Stop attacking the constitutional rights of the people of Portland,” Mayor Wheeler Tweeted last week.
Acting Administrator Wolf fired back saying that Mayor Wheeler has “legitimized criminal behavior.”
As the city continues to devolve into chaos, how much longer will truckers choose to service the area?
The same question can also be asked for cities like Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Minneapolis, MN; New York, NY; and Seattle, WA which have each seen a massive surge in violent crime in recent weeks since the death of George Floyd.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) recently reported about one outspoken owner of a large refrigerated fleet who is warning the leaders of these cities they just might soon run out of food.
Mike Kucharski, co-owner and V.P. of Illinois-based JKC Trucking, has been very vocal sounding the alarm about the concerns many in the trucking community have about operating into risky areas.
Read more on Kucharski’s take HERE.
Kucharski’s assessment is certainly notable given the fact he operates a 210-truck fleet specializing in the transportation of refrigerated and temperature-controlled items.
So, what is the tipping point?
What will it take to spur enough refusals of deliveries into these cities to create a significant supply chain disruption?
Dan Doran, a 40-year trucking veteran and the 2018 chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), recently gave TNN his thoughts on the matter.
“Everybody has a watchful eye on all these locations and all it’s going to take is just one instance for people to say, ‘No we’re not going there,’ or ‘We’ll take the load, but we’ll deliver to a warehouse 30 miles outside the area.’”
By far, the number one sentiment expressed by truckers on TNN’s social media and members only pages is that they will refuse to go into these increasingly dangerous areas, especially if local law enforcement does not act to provide more security.
The sad and disturbing reality is that as violence has surged in many cities around the nation, so too has violence against truckers.
Two weeks ago, TNN reported on truckers being murdered, robbed, run over, and coming under gunfire attacks in OR, WI, MI, and TX… in the same week.
These attacks are in addition to other recent TNN reports of violence against truckers in CA, KY, NY, OH, PA, MN, MO, TN, UT and more.
Are we reaching a tipping point?
We’d like to know what you think.
Make sure you are following TNN on our social media pages (Facebook and Twitter) so you can stay up to date on these important issues impacting the trucking community, and we invite you to give us your thoughts.
We just might include it in an upcoming report.