On October 1, 2013 an event took place that would affect us directly or indirectly. Most of you know that I am referring to the partial government shutdown. There’s no need to get into the politics of what led to this, but it’s closure is being felt amongst the people across the nation. Imagine doing a cross country trip to the Grand Canyon ,on the cusp of a major decision, only to find that you are denied access upon arrival. How about those who hold a government job and are stuck at home on furlough? Looking at things it doesn’t seem like much good can come out of it.Which leads me to how it affects the transportation industry today. How will those involved in freight, whether you are a broker, dispatcher, or shipper, come to terms with the shutdown? Obviously if you are dealing directly with a government facility, such as an air force base, you might feel the ripples from the stone dropped in the water.

If we look back the last partial government shutdown took place in 1996 and while looking into it and how it possibly influenced the trucking industry I came across a Facebook page, Overdrive Magazine. One day prior to the shutdown, they asked ” Were you trucking during the 1996 government shutdown? Did it have an effect on your day-to-day/business overall that year as you recall?”

To my surprise the answer was no. Some had not even realized that there was even in a shutdown and kept moving.

Michael Armstead wrote “ Nope. Just kept trucking. Goingto keep trucking this time too. It doesn’t affect how freight moves. Only the drivers affect that.”

Rob Touchstone found a positive aspect in a negative situation. “ No it had no effect. In fact trucking in the D.C. Area it was great because you had less traffic, such as I am seeing today.”
In a situation that has a negative impact on so many, drivers were either oblivious or just ignored it due to the lack of change it caused. It’s interesting to get the point of view from a driver. My question goes out to you all regardless if you are involved with shipping freight or not. Were you affected by the 1996 shutdown? If not do you feel it in your business today?

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