The driver shortage has impacted every sector of trucking in every geographic region in the United States. The severity of the situation is showcased by the ubiquity of truck driver want ads on major internet bulletin boards and by the constant stream of commentary in trade publications.
We have engaged in countless conversations with colleagues, customers and industry experts bemoaning the myriad reasons for the driver shortage. We blame onerous regulatory issues that didn’t exist a decade ago, or road and port congestion, or a diluted work ethic or, of course, the millennial generation seeking immediate satisfaction and gratification.
All of those reasons play into it…but it really boils down to wages. As has been the case across the American economy, the trucking industry has been plagued with deep-rooted and long-term wage stagnation, but that scenario is changing.
We often hear trucking is a barometer of the American economy since it experiences supply and demand market forces in advance of everyone else. So, fasten your seat belts. Driver wages are advancing, and rapidly. The entire logistics industry needs to be prepared to modify their business models and strategies. A paradigm shift in trucking wages is underway, and those who are slow to recognize it and react to it will be left behind.
Members of the California Trucking Association (CTA) made calls on their legislators at the state Capitol last month. The purpose of their visits was to shed light on transportation and infrastructure needs as well advocate for bills that aid the logistics community. Whoever said freight doesn’t vote hasn’t met any CTA members.
10 bonus points if you can find Richard Coyle in the picture.
DRIVERLESS TRUCKS ON NEVADA’S ROADS
Nevada is focused on the future, and it is evident in the state’s recent legislation approving the licensing of autonomous commercial vehicles. To celebrate, Freightliner hosted an event at the Hover Dam. Take a look at this 1:39 minute video showcasing the “Inspiration.”
Last month’s Northern California Truck Rodeo was featured on Good Day Sacramento, and our own Richard Coyle, President Devine Intermodal and 2015 President California Trucking Association, was there to talk to the host about the Rodeo. Truck rodeos are an entertaining means of allowing drivers to showcase their safety and driving skills.
RICHARD COYLE, PICTURED LEFT
Do you know what this part is? It is something used in intermodal or truck transportation. Play “Name That Part” by liking us on Facebook. Click here to be directed to our Facebook page and place your guess. Good luck!
The contract between the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) governing West Coast dockworkers was approved by both parties last month. But, that does not mean operations are back to normal, whatever normal is these days.
Remember when terminal operators and ocean carriers reference “returning to normal,” they are talking about vessel operations, which are normalizing, but not normal. The rest of us are talking about yard and gate operations, which remain stubbornly choked.
But, then, how is it supposed to return to normal when there are days that less than 10% of the registered longshoremen make themselves available to work? The retroactive compensation and wage increases are not expected to improve the availability. Quite the contrary, they are expected to lessen the availability.
As part of the newly signed contract between the PMA and ILWU, longshore labor now has jurisdiction to inspect all ocean carrier and leasing company owned chassis prior to exiting the marine terminals. Chassis will go through roadability, how and what that entails is not yet standardized. However, if a defect in a chassis is discovered, the driver will be held to repair or told to have the container removed from the chassis and start over with another chassis.
As far as motor carrier owned chassis, upon request, drivers will have to provide proof of ownership.
Devine, in conjunction with TransPower (manufacturer of heavy-duty electric vehicles) and the California Energy Commission (CEC), will deploy two electric yard goats in the Sacramento area. We expect the equipment to bedelivered next Spring. It seems like a long way out, but these are complicated pieces of machinery. They do not just roll off the assembly line.
We are excited to be awarded this opportunity and look forward to being a part of the pilot program.
For those that do not know what a yard goat is, it is a specialized truck for the movement of containers/trailers between drop lots and dock doors.
As mentioned last month, in an effort to conserve water, we stopped watering our lawn. We had a little rain last month, so we still have some green. We will continue to post pictures monthly so you too can track its demise.
In honor of Flag Day on June 14th, here is a piece of flag trivia. The first time the United States flag was flown over a foreign fort was in 1805 at Fort Derne, Libya…on the shores of Tripoli.
California’s drought moves into its third year with seventy-eight percent of the state being in “exceptional” or “extreme” drought conditions. Unfortunately, our spring showers were not enough to change our predicament. There is a debate raging regarding the state’s water strategy. While California’s population has doubled in the last thirty years, the state has not built or approved a single reservoir. Conservation is clearly not enough.