J.B. Hunt Sees Risk Vaccine Mandate Will Make Supply Chaos Worse
(Bloomberg) -- J. B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. is hustling to alleviate supply-chain chaos but it doesn’t expect to see relief anytime soon and says a federal vaccine mandate won’t help.
“The bottlenecks on the West Coast are going to compact and even intensify further peak-season capacity needs into November and December,” Shelley Simpson, chief commercial officer for the country’s biggest long-haul trucking company, said Friday.
The White House has announced that the Port of Los Angeles will move to around-the-clock-operations to process ships waiting at sea. Congestion isn’t limited to the nation’s docks, however. Worker shortages have clogged railyards and kept shippers from unloading goods on time, J.B. Hunt executives said on an earnings conference call.
The Biden administration’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate for large employers, which is awaiting rules to be drafted, could exacerbate the worker shortage, said J.B. Hunt Chief Operating Officer Nick Hobbs.
“It will be a lot of bureaucracy, and I don’t see it really helping this situation much other than causing confusion in the supply chain even more,” he said on the call.
J.B. Hunt meanwhile is profiting handsomely as cargo backups have fueled rising in freight rates. Third-quarter sales jumped 27% from a year earlier as operating income soared 56%.
J.B. Hunt jumped 9.7% to $192.17 at 1:11 p.m. in New York after rising 9.9%, the most intraday since March 2020. The stock, which has been trading at three-decade highs, had advanced 28% this year through Thursday while the Standard & Poor’s Industrials Index gained 15%.
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