I found some of the quotes in the June ‘Rate Wars’ article to be quite disturbing. Most disturbing were the comments of Ray Haight of MacKinnon Transport, a company I have a great deal of respect for. He worries that “smaller carriers will find a way to survive by putting more hours on their trucks on a daily basis.” Could this industry, for once, stop laying the blame for all industry problems on the shoulders of smaller carriers?
We are all, regardless of size, bound by the same laws, and with today’s technology able to track border crossing times with a mouseclick, no-one is successfully playing games with hours-of-service anymore. As far as surviving, we’re doing just fine without breaking the rules. While large carriers slaughter each other over seeing who can work cheaper, we smaller carriers continue to do well, in large part because we don’t deal with huge corporations who refuse to pay adequate fuel surcharges.
Later, he parrots the same tired OTA phrase about speed limiters leveling the playing field. It is not the place of lawmakers to level any playing field, and as far as speeding, OPEC has taken care of that issue quite nicely.
As well, as I have repeatedly screamed to deaf ears, that in the heavy haul sector, the ability to utilize short bursts of speed over 105 km/h will actually reduce fuel consumption and traffic congestion. This is reliant, however, on these trucks being operated by qualified professionals, not overzealous, careless cowboys.
I would also like to comment on Kevin Snobel’s comments regarding those most likely to cut rates to be ‘inexperienced players.’ I would half agree with this statement. The last two years have seen the competitive thorn in my side to be equally split between rookie carriers (most have either gone broke or ran out of customers because of horrid service), and long-established carriers who, frankly, should be the first to know better than to work for the rates they are offering. I’ve seen as much, if not more, too-cheap freight granted to the 500-plus truck carriers as the newcomers.
I would invite the CEO of any large carrier to compare earned revenue per mile figures with any carrier of less than 50 trucks. I understand the concept that the larger companies have lower operating costs, I just don’t understand why this translates into the offering of less than market freight rates.
If everyone charged what we are worth, the cheap freight could stay where it originated, the driver shortage would be history, and unqualified drivers could go back to flipping burgers instead of flipping trucks.
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