The World of Transportation
Did you ever watch an old Western movie and wonder what it would have been like to move about the country in a wagon –or on horseback. Then you see early versions of automobiles and again wonder- what did it feel like to make that leap forward from horses to autos? Life-changing events DO happen in our lives (World Wars; Man landing on the surface of the Moon; the internet; cell phones; and the list continues of the advancements made in our daily lives.
The world of transportation is also in a life-changing status. Drivers – the most important part of our industry/ are involved in major phases of change. Demographics is bringing the most experienced, safe, self-managed drivers to the end of their careers through retirement. Governmental regulations are challenging them to make a decision; lose productivity under compliance required— or stop driving.
If you were employed in transportation in 1994, you know that 2014 feels very similar. More freight than available capacity can manage, driving the bottom line toward RED……….and everyone’s hair turning GREY! How did this happen overnight (or in the first Six months of this year)? Well, it didn’t—it has been moving forward progressively for a number of years. According to reports in the Journal of Commerce and Transport Topics, there are 23% less Capacity now on the road than in 2008. Driver turnover is 91% among the larger carriers (how many are higher than 100% to make that overall average figure?) and still the baby boomer group [ largest in population and best in knowledge ] are continuing to exit due to age, health and regulations.
What is next to replenish the ever draining supply of drivers? Autonomous vehicles pulling multiple trailers across interstate corridors? Trains do it every day. Who is the next qualified and well-trained driver to maneuver the 80,000 lbs of equipment and payload down our public highways? How do we keep up with the demand of our economy re-growth?
Watch for our updates in coming weeks.