Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

Maria Briceño
By Maria Briceño May 18, 2023

There's no evidence shelves in Florida grocery store are empty because of a truckers’ boycott

If Your Time is short

  • PolitiFact found no evidence supporting the claim that a store’s empty shelves are due to truckers boycotting Florida. 

  • Trucking organizations said they are not aware of any Florida boycotts.

  • We found no recent reports of shortages in Palmetto, Florida, where one post suggests the video was taken.

Some social media posts are calling on truck drivers to stop cargo deliveries to Florida to express disagreement with a new state immigration law.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, on May 10 signed into law S.B. 1718, which invalidates all out-of-state driver’s licenses issued to immigrants in the country illegally, bans local governments from issuing them IDs, and requires certain hospitals to collect and report healthcare costs incurred by people living in the state illegally.

A TikTok video claims to show the effects of a truck driver boycott. 

"No groceries smh sad these truckers weren’t playing when they said they were not delivering anything to Florida !!!," said text in the May 14 video. 

The video shows empty shelves at what appears to be the packaged deli section of a Walmart store. Toward the end of the video, a shopper is seen pushing a blue grocery cart. However, the video also shows a wall full of products and a cart with cardboard boxes, including a box containing what appear to be paper towel rolls.

@politifact Replying to @mj Is this video of empty store shelves proof of a truck driver boycott of Florida after a recent immigration law signed by Ron DeSantis? No. We found no evidence of a boycott or shortages. #florida #immigration #rondesantis #trucker #sb1718 #factcheck #learnontiktok #fyp ♬ original sound - PolitiFact

The post does not specify where it was filmed, but it includes a location pin for Palmetto, Florida. PolitiFact found another post on TikTok making a similar claim.

The posts were flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

PolitiFact contacted the Walmart store in Palmetto for more information, but an employee did not want to comment. We also reached out to Walmart’s media relations office but did not hear back.

Alix Miller, the Florida Trucking Association’s president and CEO, told PolitiFact she was not aware of any issues regarding truckers delivering goods to Florida. 

Featured Fact-check

PolitiFact also contacted the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents more than 150,000 truck owners and operators in the U.S. and Canada.

"We don’t know of anyone participating in a boycott nor the veracity of the images," said Norita Taylor, a spokesperson for the association.

Nixa Haisley, a senior purchasing agent for the city of Palmetto, told PolitiFact that she recently visited the store and saw no shortages.

The Tallahassee Democrat on May 15 reported on the social media posts calling for truck driver boycotts. The newspaper said the video of the store’s empty shelves had not been verified. It also said that grocery stores often empty shelves to clean and restock or when there is a mechanical problem with the refrigeration.

PolitiFact found no recent news reports about food shortages in Palmetto stores.

Our ruling

TikTok videos blame empty shelves at a Florida grocery store on truckers saying "they were not delivering anything to Florida!!!"

Although some social media posts have encouraged truck drivers to boycott Florida because of a new state immigration law, trucking organizations told PolitiFact that they knew of no such current boycotts.

The posts show empty shelves at what appears to be a Walmart store, and one of the posts suggests the video was taken in Palmetto, Florida. However, we found no recent reports of grocery shortages in Palmetto.

In the absence of evidence to support this claim, we rate it False.


Our Sources

Post on Twitter, May 13, 2023

Video on TikTok, May 14, 2023

Video on TikTok, May 14, 2023

Tallahassee Democrat, "'My truck won't move.' Are truckers boycotting Florida over DeSantis' new immigration law?", accessed May 15, 2023

FL Gov, "Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Strongest Anti-Illegal Immigration Legislation in the Country to Combat Biden’s Border Crisis," accessed May 15, 2023

Email interview with Alix Miller, president and CEO of the Florida Trucking Association, May 15, 2023

Email interview with Norita Taylor, government affairs and director of public relations of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, May 15, 2023

Phone interview with Nixa Haisley, Sr. Purchasing Agent of the City of Palmetto, May 17, 2023


Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Maria Briceño

There's no evidence shelves in Florida grocery store are empty because of a truckers’ boycott

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up