A US Supreme Court decision that could force California's 70,000 truck owner-operators to stop driving is set to create another choke point on the West Coast.
The California trucking association said in a statement that gasoline has been poured on the fire that is our ongoing supply-chain crisis.
Read more about Justices Pass on California Truckers.
The impact of taking tens of thousands of truck drivers off the road will have devastating repercussions on an already fragile supply chain.
The association asked the Supreme Court for a review of a case challenging California's Assembly Bill 5, a law that sets out three tests to determine if a worker is an employee or not. Federal law has allowed the trucking industry to be exempt from state regulations for years.
The relationship between independent trucking companies and their carriers will be governed by the tests.
The association said it was disappointed that the court didn't recognize the damage that eliminating independent truckers would cause.
Harbor Trucking Association Chief Executive Officer Matt Schrap said that California's transportation industry is looking at how business models will fit the new paradigm.
He said in an interview that this will have a profound effect on driver supply, at least here in the interim. Many companies have been planning for this and we will see how it goes.
Katherine Greifeld,Caroline Hyde, and Sonali Basak assisted with the project.(Updates with comment from Harbor Trucking Association CEO in penultimate paragraph.)