Ambassador Bridge Reopens as Protests Block other US-Canada Border Crossings

Updated: Feb 16

By Freight Waves

This article was published in Freight Waves February 14, 2022. The Canadian trucker blockades have caused serious disruptions for supply chains that rely on U.S.-Canada border crossing. PBS offers insight into how the blockades impact production on both sides of the border in this segment from February 11th.

The busiest commercial crossing between the U.S. and Canada, the Ambassador Bridge, reopened late Sunday after police in Windsor, Ontario, cleared out a protest over COVID-19 restrictions that squeezed the cross-border supply chain for a week.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection processed the first truck to reach the U.S side of the border in Detroit at 12:30 a.m. Monday, the agency said in a tweet. As of 8:30 a.m, CBP and the Canada Border Service Agency reported normal operations on both sides of the border.

The protest disrupted millions of dollars of trade and led multiple auto plants to slow production because of delays in receiving parts. Trucks used alternate crossings and at times faced hourslong delays, while some shippers turned to expedited airfreight and cargo van services.

Police began an operation to clear the protest on Saturday with a force that included heavily armed police officers, including snipers, backed by tactical units and armored cars. Many protesters, including the few remaining heavy trucks, left. Around 20 people were arrested.

Two other border crossings — Coutts, Alberta-Sweet Grass, Montana, and Emerson, Manitoba-Pembina, North Dakota, remain closed because of protests. Protests also disrupted traffic leading to the Peace Bridge linking Buffalo, New York, and Fort Erie, Ontario, and the Pacific Highway border crossing linking British Columbia to Washington.

Hundreds of trucks also remain in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, more than two weeks after the Freedom Convoy arrived. Over the weekend, the city and organizers reached an agreement for trucks to leave most residential areas.

Protest convoys have taken place in multiple Canadian cities. While the protests began in response to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers, they quickly expanded to demand the end to just about all COVID-19 related-measures.

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