I have enjoyed most the association events I have attended and been involved with over the past number of years on both sides of the border. A popular theme to most of them up until a year ago though was the driver shortage, and I sure don’t miss hearing about it. I was wondering about proposing a new breakout session that might raise some eyebrows and stir the pot so to speak when this subject comes back to haunt us all again.
You see if in fact we are coming out of this recession and start to see an upswing in capacity next year some time, the first indication will likely be the so called “Driver’s Shortage” coming back to industry headlines so I thought I might call my session “Driver Shortage the Untold Reality “or “Driver Shortage 101 Not” I would have to give this some thought.
You see the “Driver Shortage 101 Not” refers to what each of us has been bombard with over the past 15-year’s driver shortage driver shortage driver shortage, enough already. Anyone who has thought it through knows that an over population of vehicles does not mean there is a driver shortage it means trucking companies have a habit of buying to many trucks and then not being able to fill the seats, is that a driver shortage, I think not.
My session would support the reality of what a true driver shortage would look like and it would be much more obvious than trucks against a fence at someone’s terminal it would directly affect the consumer as in, off they go to the market or store and they see an empty self where there shouldn’t be one.
Not because the product or foodstuff doesn’t exist but because the shipper could not get a truck at any price to actually pick the freight up and deliver it! This thought scares the wits out of shippers, I have seen shippers over the years continually jump on the driver shortage band wagon and they will do it again when the economy turns around, it protects their margins to see trucking companies beat each other up over capacity. Shippers want trucking companies to overpopulate themselves as it creates greater competition and lowers their freight rates.
Shippers have a vested interest in seeing that trucking companies continue to grow their fleets and compete over every scrap of freight in sight, it depresses rates and they are the only ones who win at that game.
I would love to see this economy snap back quicker than anyone ever thought possible and real shortage of drivers happen in the market place. It wouldn’t likely last but it might be fun for awhile!
Picture a trucker posting their open capacity on a web site where shippers go online in auction fashion to bid for skid space against other shippers, highest bid wins and of course freight must be paid in full before any pickups of freight are made….
Mr. Ray Haight has enjoyed a successful career in transportation starting as a company driver and Owner Operator logging over one million accident free miles prior to starting his own company. After stepping down from a successful career managing one of Canada’s 50 largest trucking companies, Ray focused on industry involvement including terms as Chairman of each of the following, the Truckload Carriers Association, Professional Truck Drivers Institute, North American Training and Management Institute and the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities voluntary apprenticeship of Tractor Trailer Commercial Driver, along with many other business interests, he enjoys a successful consulting business, also sitting on various Boards of both industry associations a private motor carriers. He is also Co-Founder of StakUp O/A TCAinGauge an online bench marking service designed to assist trucking companies throughout North America focus on efficiency and profitability within their operations. All posts by Ray Haight