Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Truck Driver Shortage? Blame Jimmy Carter for That.

In the 1970s, truckers could make $30 an hour money. By 2018, that had decreased. When adjusted for inflation, it was close to a fifty percent cut. Carter deregulated trucking in 1980 and wages tumbled.

the thing is, everyone was pretty much aware that truck-driving had gone from being a solid blue-collar job to being grunt work that paid dogshit in comparison to the time away from home. Back in the day, there were no shortage of stories about how great it was to own your own tractor and basically be paid to see the country. You don't see those stories anymore.

Besides being a hard job that paid for shit, there was story after story about how the trucking industry was working to automate driving, as I've covered on here a couple of times. It should be no surprise that young'uns who were deciding on a career would look at trucking and say "nah".

So now trucking companies are offering huge pay jumps. But how long will that last?

Meanwhile, in the supply chain shortage takes, the Los Angeles-Lomng Beach Port Authority is going to start charging shipping companies for containers that were offloaded from the ships and then not promptly removed. I am of mixed opinions about that. If there is no space on the trains or trucks to haul them off, charging a C-note/container/day isn't going to make trucks or railcars materialize. It may make it cost-effective for the shipping companies to keep ships at anchor, as for a very large container ship, those fines would amount to nearly a million dollars a day, compared to a charter cost of $200,000/day in today's market.

Or, possibly, it may be an incentive to send the ships elesewhere. But the cost of longer voyages may make it a better deal for the ships to sit off the coast.

6 comments:

dinthebeast said...

Never drove a big rig, but have just shy of a million miles behind the wheel of a 20' bobtail, and I was never paid more than $12.50/hr straight time for my services.
The port of Oakland has cleared all of its backlogs and is actively seeking more traffic.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Stewart Dean said...

God, but I love it when labor has the hammer. It's be one thing if management cared for its workforce, but headcount is an interchangeable externality to the beancounters. Capitalism can be a stick with two ends, though almost exclusively labor gets the end with the brown smelly stuff.
The check is in the mail, I'll love you in the morning and that other one: the boss will take care of you. Uh, huh. Like the Harkonnens do.....
Funny how all these new-age cutting edge spiritually evolved companies have fecal seizures in the c-suite when unions are mentioned. After all, if they've treated their employees right, there'd never be a problem. When the Watsons ran IBM, the worker bees laughed at unions....not any more, not for a long time.

Glypto Dropem said...

From 2017 to early 2019 I drove a 35' 10 wheel flat bed covered wagon. When I left I was making $22/hr plus so much overtime I was always on the brink of being over hours. I continually warned my boss and the idiot traffic manager that I was not driving with the big red "VIOLATION" meatball on my computerized log screen for a cop to see. I would just park their truck wherever I was and take a taxi home at their expense. My route took me to NYC twice a week, which weren't simple deliveries, they were fucking combat missions. Even though the money was good, I am so glad I'm not doing that anymore.

Like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer... it feels so good when you stop.

dan gerene said...

After reading the linked article in the Business Insider I was surprised that Carter would sign off on deregulation which is something the Republicans love. It shows that deregulation can be a bad thing in the long run even though it might of worked to the benefit of the people at the start. Clinton signed off on some deregulation too which Bush the elder wanted and that helped lead to the Bush Great Recession.The few truck drivers that I knew in the 70's were quite happy with the kind of money they made.

seafury said...

Been driving since 1982. most of my time has been in the Midwest with the occasional forays to the East coast, down south, and the southwest TX, NM, AZ. The last 15 years have been as a local LTL driver. 40 years driving, 25 in the union. I can't speak for owner operators, having never been one. Deregulation was a boon for shady operators to join the big leagues so to speak. Anyone could get their own authority and then spray paint their name on the door of a piece of junk that had no business on the road. Then it was off to the races. You'll haul it for 500? I'll haul it for 450. The company I drive for can't find drivers. (no one can. it's not a 40 hour a week job) We're willing to put walk ins through school, the first thing they ask is what time do I get done?
Sorry for the thread hijack back to deregulation. What regulation did was pretty much make everyone compete on service as pricing was pretty much regulated. Companies competed for good drivers But no one could compete against Yellow, Roadway, ABF, and a host of other union carriers who had coast to coast authority. One of those jobs had 25-30 applicants. Real drivers who had experience who would show up, work the 12-14 hour days and be compensated for it. Deregulation changed all that. Same thing at the airlines. Everyone knows how much fun air travel is now. Same thing in the trucking business. Truckers are limited (Limited lol) to 14 hours a day duty time 11 hours driving. Most companies want all of that and are begging for relief for DOT hours of service rules. Which they will get in light of the supply chain crisis.
It's nice to be in the drivers seat for a change. Enjoy it while it lasts.

ac2usn said...

Remember that is this same time period the aviation industry was also deregulated and we have seen the same result.