At the recent Transportation Workshop (Hosted by Dan Goodwill & Associates and Motortruck Fleet Executive) we, along with the other participants couldn’t get enough from the two shipper panels featured there. When it came to the topic of rate increases, the shippers were all singing the same tune. Somewhat paraphrased the comments were, “Don’t come to me with a rate increase. Come to me as a partner, who can work with me to cut my transportation costs. Tell me what I’m doing wrong. Sometimes what you think we know, we don’t.”
“Okay, so much for sending out that blanket increase of 4.5%” was the reaction of the carriers in the audience that day. Rate increase? Forget about it, was the look I read on the faces of the carriers represented in the room that day. A stronger move to rail and a shift to more local distribution hubs were also in the forecast for some. Man, how tough is it going to be for truckers to make a dollar going forward?
It is a tough life for trucking companies and their drivers. It’s not uncommon for a company’s driver force to totally turnover in the course of one year, especially in the U.S. What’s going to happen? That’s a billion dollar question. Some innovative thinking that increases driver income, reduces time away from home, gives drivers more respect and promotes a healthier life style were all topics discussed at the conference.
Other comments made like “uncover any rock” seemed to be a shared sentiment on both the carrier and shipper side. There is nothing holy, nothing that can’t be looked at with a fresh viewpoint and possibly changed for the better.
This economy is forcing us all to get smarter and in a hurry. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Maybe it’s what we should have been doing all along.
Lee’s Quote for the Day
“I always get uncomfortable when things are too perfect. I try for a few perfect things and let a couple of things fall purposely short. That keeps any real bad stuff from coming my way.”
For those of us who’ve been around for a while, Willie Nelson’s classic song, “Ain’t it funny how time slips away” still rings true. I had occasion to recall my first boardroom meeting the other day. I was a pricing assistant for an international forwarder and had an idea for a courier style envelope that was perforated in the middle, so you could have 2 different size products in one. I actually interrupted the VP laden meeting to present my crude mock-up. Much to the dismay of the senior marketing VP at the time, my idea flew over his.
I was nervous and approaching afraid when I made my virgin voyage to the boardroom… but that was 25 years ago. Today, I communicate at the senior executive level on a daily basis. There are some execs that still bring out my previously insecure nature but time, experience and success have given me the tools required to lead my team where it needs to go. In my area of expertise, I have no shortage of confidence and no fear of failure.
Later this month, I will be speaking at the 3rd Annual Transportation Workshop hosted by Dan Goodwill & Associates and Motortruck Fleet Executive Magazine. Something new for me but I believe I’ll be okay. I’m passionate about what I do and I believe our guidance in web marketing will give everyone attending something they can take away and implement. I’m bringing my right hand on the creative development side, Sam Cockcroft, who will add his insight from his experience in a larger agency environment. Although from different eras and widely different backgrounds, we’ve both learned that as much as time slips away it is also a great teacher… when you choose to listen.
To find out more about the conference you can follow this link http://www.trucknews.com/workshop/.
Lee’s quote for the day
“If we knew yesterday what we know today, I wonder where it could have taken us tomorrow? “