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Logistics company says mandates impacted business, then mandate protests impacted business

Posted at 11:47 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-10 23:47:42-05

ROMULUS, Mich.(WXYZ)  — "If you take a look at just the amount of economic activity created by auto parts going across the border, it is staggering," says Sandy Baruah, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

“That is about $320 million dollars a day of economic activity,” said Baruah.

So…where would you go if you needed to ship something ASAP across the border in this scenario? With a name like ASAP Express WXYZ figured the company located right next to Detroit Metro Airport might be getting some phone calls.

“We are having to turn some of our business away,” said Doug Knedgen, President and CFO of ASAP Express.

He says, with such short notice there is not much that can be done. It is possible to send by plane, but not many customers are asking for that.

“We are having to reroute our loads to the Blue Water Bridge and the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge,” he said.

He says before the protest, his company was already being hurt by the vaccine mandates for international travel.

“You have to be vaccinated to go into Canada. Only 40% of our driver-base are vaccinated. The other 60% who moved freight in Canada, cannot move freight in Canada right now,” Knedgen explains.

There is a rail tunnel that goes under the Detroit River to Windsor. But changing how you move stuff takes manpower.

Baruah says the economic impact goes beyond just trade.

“Even if you are not worried about GM, Ford, Stellantis plants, there are all these small businesses that supply parts. They are shut down,” he said.

The Detroit Regional Chamber says it has gotten calls from businesses asking what can be done to end the protests. However, it says it is not a business issue. It is a law enforcement issue in Canada.

“We have a group of people who are illegally not just impeding traffic, they are impeding international commerce,” said Baruah.