If you have to transport anything by truck, plane, ship, bus or any other method that uses a gas or diesel-powered engine, you are in a very large club. Unfortunately, this club has some growing problems. Many of us have tried to convince ourselves that the problems are not ours, or that given time, they will go away. Time has run out!
I do not have the room to cover every problem we are facing but we should consider the big two, fuel costs and driver retention.
By now, most of us understand the reasons for the surcharges and most importantly that we are all having to deal with the pain of these costs. Seventy percent of U.S. freight travels by truck and both the service provider and the consumer are getting hit by the rise in the cost of crude oil. I’ve been told that 70% percent of the cost of diesel fuel comes from the cost of crude oil. Even when our economy may be slow, countries like China have growing economies and this hurts the U.S. when it comes to our cost of crude.
Another major problem we are facing is the issue of driver retention. The entire industry is experiencing a shortage of qualified van operators. This demand has created a “churning” of drivers with many companies. This job-hopping creates a few problems. First, it creates added expenses due to recruitment and training of van operators, and it creates van availability issues for customers. This is particularly important during the summer busy season.