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Driver shortage

rollincoal

Expert Expediter
Owner/Operator
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Been reading these stories ever since I started driving. Nothing ever really changes. Same stories since '00 only the numbers vary somewhat. It's alleged the end of the world. Store shelves have always and still remain full. Churn is all it's ever been because there's always been a shortage of good companies, and probably good drivers too ("drivers" are a dime a dozen). Making matters worse is all the people out of work in other industries come to the industry of last resort, transport, to pay the bills. That has to be a big factor in stagnant wages. Swift will implement a nickel or so raise. Everyone else will follow. And it'll still be peanuts and a last resort job for anyone who can do better.

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mjmsprt40

Veteran Expediter
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Y'all needs ta make up yer minds. Either we have (or will have) a driver shortage, OR we're all gonna be replaced by robot drivers. If we're getting canned so "Iron Mike" can take over, there won't be a driver shortage because there won't be any drivers such as we've known it.

It would sure help to get our story straight here. Shortage of drivers-- I'm assuming here you mean CDL drivers since it doesn't look like there'll be a shortage of van drivers any time soon-- or we're being replaced by computer-drivers. In which case, there is no shortage 'cause you can always build more "drivers" powered by Google.
 

Moot

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There has been a driver shortage for as long as I can remember. Um, let me rephrase that. There has been a driver shortage for longer than I can remember. If there truly was a driver shortage, driver pay would increase to attract more people to the profession or companies would have to resort to importing drivers from Eastern Europe or Mexico. Um, let me rephrase...If there really was a driver shortage then um, there wouldn't be enough drivers and...um, stores wouldn't have stuff. Trucks bring good stuff so some stores might have some stuff but most stores wouldn't have good stuff. Or maybe some stores would have some good stuff but most stores would just have stuff and a few stores wouldn't have anything.
 

Ragman

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There has been a driver shortage for as long as I can remember. Um, let me rephrase that. There has been a driver shortage for longer than I can remember. If there truly was a driver shortage, driver pay would increase to attract more people to the profession or companies would have to resort to importing drivers from Eastern Europe or Mexico. Um, let me rephrase...If there really was a driver shortage then um, there wouldn't be enough drivers and...um, stores wouldn't have stuff. Trucks bring good stuff so some stores might have some stuff but most stores wouldn't have good stuff. Or maybe some stores would have some good stuff but most stores would just have stuff and a few stores wouldn't have anything.
No need to rephrase any of that . . . I understood . . . now that's scary.
 

ATeam

Senior Member
Retired Expediter
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One thing to keep in mind when reading these ongoing stories about the future driver shortage is that the number of available drivers is not the only variable. If the number of available drivers changed, or if the number of hours they are available to drive change, the the logistics industry changes in response.

Just one example: Diane and I once picked up a computer server in Florida that was going straight through to New Jersey. Another expediter truck pulled in behind us to pick up an identical server going straight through to Maryland, just a mile or so off our route to New Jersey. This was not one-of-a-kind or uber-expensive freight. It was telpehone equipment being shipped from the Florida facility to company facilities in two states.

There was no reason we could see why the company paid two trucks to do the work that one truck with two stops could have easily done. The shipping guy did not care. It was policy to ship stuff that way so that is what he did, even though it was far more expensive. If a true driver shortage existed, it would not take that company long to see the wisdom of putting two items on one truck.

Many things change. With flat-screen TV's, a truck can carry way more TV's now than when TV's were shipped in big, square boxes. Massive supply chain warehouses have appeared with which numerous strategies can be used to reduce the number of truck trips. Shippers and consignees can modify their practices and expectations if a true driver shortage develops.

Driver numbers and available hours are but two variables in a multi-variable logistics industry. Because of that, it does not follow that if the number of drivers and available driver hours falls, driver pay will increase.
 
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Moot

Veteran Expediter
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There was no reason we could see why the company paid two trucks to do the work that one truck with two stops could have easily done. The shipping guy did not care. It was policy to ship stuff that way so that is what he did, even though it was far more expensive. If a true driver shortage existed, it would not take that company long to see the wisdom of putting two items on one truck.
So it will take a true driver shortage to occur before shippers change their policy to "if it fits on one truck, ship it on one truck"? Is this a great country or what! America, land of excess. What next, turning food (corn and soybeans) into fuel?

Many things change. With flat-screen TV's, a truck can carry way more TV's now than when TV's were shipped in big, square boxes.
Wireless phones and remote controls are getting larger. Sofas have morphed into huge sectionals with drink holders.
 

geo

Veteran Expediter
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US Navy
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driver shortage would go away if they paid a fair and decent wage
most worker anything over 40 hours a week would be over time
for drivers it would make a different
 

OntarioVanMan

Retired Expediter
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shortage of "qualified" drivers...for CSA purposes....lots of cowboys, gear jammers and rebels out there....
 

OntarioVanMan

Retired Expediter
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if like they say there is a shortage then we should be bizzy
Why?.......you think there is that much expedite?.....shippers and logistic program are getting better all the time.....OLD school shippers are dying off....no more "Order me a truck" without any thinking....they are actually thinking.....which is bad for us...
 

Moot

Veteran Expediter
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I talked with a friend and former colleague from Con-way Freight last night. Apparently there really is a driver shortage and it is even affecting the LTL segment of trucking. He said the Minneapolis terminal is short at least 20 drivers. They are farming out city P&D work to local trucking companies. He also said they are so desperate for class A drivers that they would probably even hire me back. That might be a slight exaggeration on his part though.

In Chicago they have opened a driving school, just like Swift, Schneider and other TL carriers. Top pay rate at Con-way Freight is $27.40/hr. for city work and .62/mile for linehaul and home every night/day. Not bad wages for a semi-skilled job. (pun intended) Nobody wants to drive a truck anymore. Part of this could be attributed to the in-cab babysitter and Con-way's micro management style but my friend claims all the large LTLs are experiencing a driver shortage. If they want to draw younger people to trucking they should replace the electronic babysitter with a Play Station or XBox. In Minneapolis they can't keep part-time and full-time dockworkers at $15-$17/hr.
 

T270_Dreamin

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Maybe they would be willing to send some of the freight they can't cover from shortage of drivers over to the expedite companies. I think a lot of drivers would be willing to work for .10 less a mile as opposed to sitting. :)
 

OntarioVanMan

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and the long term fallout of this CSA thingee?......as with bio and ethanol....price of your food will increase...heck the cost of everything will go up......for no other reason of politics and stupidity....
 

rollincoal

Expert Expediter
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Maybe they would be willing to send some of the freight they can't cover from shortage of drivers over to the expedite companies. I think a lot of drivers would be willing to work for .10 less a mile as opposed to sitting. :)
Probably it would be a raise, as in better rates,for many expediters. Expediting can be had for so cheap.

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Slo-Ride

Veteran Expediter
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I think a lot of drivers would be willing to work for .10 less a mile as opposed to sitting. :)
Let us know how that works for you/anyone cutting rates. We haven't recovered from the cost of living since the last hit the trucks took. Seems most office jobs and perks have rebounded very nicely but we are still making the same as 2007, but paying more for everything else..
 
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