Last year, Brazilian truck drivers, disgruntled by rising diesel prices, staged a ten-day strike, blocking roads all across Brazil. As two-thirds of cargo transportation in Brazil is done on roadways, it took only four days for the protest to create food and fuel shortages in several urban centers. Animal breeders, who depend on deliveries of feed, saw many of their animals die of starvation and cannibalism. Meanwhile, vegetable and fruit producers were forced to throw out a big chunk of their production—which couldn’t make it to food distribution centers.
To solve the crisis, the federal government resorted to quick fixes: subsidies on diesel and a minimum freight pricing table (which hasn’t really worked). No long term solution was found. One year later, Brazil is confronted, once again, with the worrying prospect of a second truckers’ strike. Autonomous cargo transporters are planning a stoppage on Saturday, March 30, via social media. But the government seems unfazed.