Where the **** is my truck?
This is becoming a regular phrase being tossed about by sales folk and traffic managers all across the country as of late as booking and retaining long-haulers has been just about as difficult as closing orders. While most of this IS due to Bill Murray hijacking trucks for romantic furloughs throughout the Czech countryside (which is a LOT like Wisconsin I’m told), at least some of this truck shortage can be better explained in the below facts contributed to us by industry insider and Trinity Logistics marketing manager Kellie Morgan.
The first quarter of 2014 saw almost 400 trucking companies go out of business, which took roughly 10,600 for-hire trucks off the road. As there are around 180,000 long-haul trucks licensed in the US (half of which are part of private fleets), that 10,600 number represents an 11.8333333333% decrease in the number of trucks available.
Another factor Kellie highlights (if you have young children you may want to change the station as I’m going to say it again) is the POLAR VORTEX. Cargo which otherwise would have gone through the ice jammed Great Lakes, or on the snow-packed rail lines was forced onto trucks thus taking up even more of the available capacity.
WANTED: 30,000 DRIVERS…that’s a conservative estimate on the number of available driver positions unfilled as of March 2014. Until Google and Al Gore can come up with a way to have these trucks drive themselves (and with the help of Alec Baldwin’s ranting I’m sure they soon will), that’s a lot of trucks not moving any freight.
And let’s not forget our friends sitting up in Mordor on the Potomac (that’s Washington DC for those not down with Mike Church). The new “hours of operation” regulations combined with all the goodies given to us in the MAP-21 Act (check this out http://www.trinitylogistics.com/blog/the-map-21-act-how-it-could-affect-your-business) is DECREASING the productivity of an already thinly stretched over the road fleet.
So we all know what happened when this guy tried to stop Tommy Boy’s trucks…
…so I guess like Tommy, we need to think “chicken wings” for the time being until the freight ferry stops sniffing glue and stealing money from the dresser. Any successful business sees opportunity where obstacles present themselves, and any distributor who sells a product needs to maintain the flexibility and strategic management to navigate such challenges.
Much of the subject matter above was contributed by Kellie Morgan of Trinity Logistics. All editorial and/or satire is entirely that of Mike Meyerhoff of Omega Steel Company. Click on the link below to be connected to Kellie’s blog and Trinity Logistics.