Our industry has changed quite a bit over the years, mostly within the past 10-15 with the ever increasing use of technology to increase efficiency and make the industry a bit more competitive over the transportation sector.
Let’s face it technology is here, and it doesn’t look like it is going anywhere.
After talking and knowing some true industry “elders.” No disrespect intended, however, the industry in my opinion needs them!! Especially with the recent articles founded with profound research that government oversight is done by people who have zero to minimal experience, and are dead set on wrecking the trucking industry through over regulation, and over burden of the small businesses that account for 85% of the industry freight movements.
You see back in the day, the business was built on person to person relationships. Hence why, “the good ol’ boy network” is alive and well still to this day….
Back before technology really took hold to the industry, dispatchers and fleets used phone books— to find brokers and shippers to load trucks in the areas they delivered. Then, would have to call these potential customers to build trust and ensure them they would be great assets to their vendor network. “Let me show you one time, load my truck, and let me show you!!” Someone would say to a shipper I am sure!
Today with technology, a few of us old school people will still get on the phone and contact people, but few actually need to build a relationship to get freight on their truck. They simply log in to their favoring loadboard, find and load fitting their deadhead, and price criteria and “POOF!”—Load accepted, and they are on way…..a few forms, signature—-Done!
The stigmata to all this is the fact that you can run a fleet of industry professionals almost 100% of time from a truck operation provided you are a little tech savy.
The downside to this is that you have way too many coming in not fully understanding the business and they are causing the market to allow $1 per mile freight, just to get you from point a to Hot zone A…….which can be a 1000 miles away…….Do you think the prices drop on the retail end for cheaper transportation……
A great case study on this is a run from Oregon Washington area, back down to California. It would be lumber, which everyone knows pays $2 a mile from the mills, period……Lumber is known to be some of the cheapest freight to haul on a flatbed. You can still make money, but it’s not $3.25 a mile equipment, or $5.25 LTL….. We all know…. However, you have tons of pie in the sky, new owner operators in this western region, that will run up on $3.25 a mile freight, but grab whatever they can then come back on $1 per mile loads, without thinking about costs and actual rates that someone with drivers, and maintenance, ect would actually charge just to break even….. This causes a glut, a stupidification of the industry and makes transportation costs go down, meanwhile—giving profits to the mill—making it harder and harder for OPERATORS- to properly do their business right!
Argue what you wish, that is the open market!!—True!
Reality is every market is paid, and every market is filled! However, even though the stupidification of the market occurs, why is California the highest cost to live, retailers are still getting prime dollar, the only difference is that the money moved from Trucking to either, and or the Retailer and Wholesaler—–driving out the guy moving the product to the end receiver………..hell, to be honest there is probably a few product brokers in there as well……..
So the next time, you think it is wise to run $1 mile bullshit freight from anywhere, why not consider what is actually happening versus what some bullshitting wholesaler or bullshitting retailer, transportation salesman tells you and listen to what the long-term industry professionals are actually telling you……..
If break even, with driver is $1.55 per mile, quit taking $1 per mile cause you can afford it—because one day it might be your kid, or grandkid putting drivers in trucks and building fleets!!
To Long backroads, and cool nights beneath the stars